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Google News Initiative

News Brief: February Updates from the Google News Initiative

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February brought flowers and chocolate, but we had heart eyes for new journalist tools and events across the globe. Read on for more updates from the last month.  

Supporting the future of news in Europe

190+ participants attended the first GNI EMEA summit, where we announced the expansion of the GNI Subscriptions Lab to Europe, as well as additional training commitments and funding for the Reuters Institute Digital News Report.

Debunk.eu uses AI to help identify disinformation and reduce its harmful impact on society.

In partnership with journalists and fact checkers, the Google News Initiative supported company, Debunk.eu uses AI to help identify disinformation and reduce its harmful impact on society.

During the GNI EMEA Summit, Debunk.eu showed us how they brought journalists, fact-checkers and AI specialists together to curb the spread of disinformation. Partners and Digital News Innovation Fund recipients shared insights about the latest products and innovations in news, the role of machine learning in publishing and new ways to grow reader revenue.

GNI Lab programs help publishers grow their business

The GNI Labs are cohort-based programs that group individual publishers together to tackle a shared challenge. For instance, the GNI Subscriptions Lab is designed to help participants to grow their digital business. Since starting the program, The Buffalo News was able to grow their digital subscribers by 49 percent.

Participants in the GNI Data Lab worked together to understand how data can drive business growth. Six local media companies used data to understand their audience, increase sales, and improve their systems and tools, releasing a full report of their learnings

The GNI Ads Lab works with local publishers to identify opportunities for revenue growth. Through the Lab, the Long Beach Post increased their website traffic for breaking news stories, leading to significant advertising revenue growth.

After learning from other Labs, the first GNI Startup Lab is launching in Brazil for entrepreneurs committed to the development of news products that offer quality journalism. The Lab will support early-stage news startups through funding and a 13-week immersion program at the Google for Startups Campus in São Paolo.


Using insights to grow audience engagement

The GNI Audience Lab works with digital publishers to tackle audience growth. The Lab recently created newsletter assessments to help the first cohort of publishers influence loyalty among their readers.  

We recently partnered with Adswerve, a leading Google Marketing Platform and Cloud partner, to create new playbooks on using data to grow audience engagement. While the guides are primarily geared toward publishers and media members, they're applicable to any business that wants to discover new ways to engage with prospects and customers. 

Tackling the spread of misinformation with regional workshops and new tools

Over 500 French citizens and journalists attended full-day workshops at Google Digital Garage spaces in Rennes, Montpellier, Nancy, and Saint-Etienne ahead of the March 15th municipal elections. The content focused on preventing misinformation, including fact-checking workshops and media literacy trainings.


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We worked with Storyful, a beneficiary of the GNI Cloud Program, to build the Source app, which helps detect manipulated images and counter misinformation. Powered by Google’s machine learning technology, the app enables journalists to discover the origins and trustworthiness of photos and memes.

That’s a wrap for February. Check back next month, and keep up with the Google News Initiative through our newsletter and social.

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