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Google News Initiative

A global community for news product experts

An illustration of three people, with arrows pointing to and from digital news articles

Digital products for news consumers are becoming increasingly more important for the success of news organizations, whether you're a well-established publisher like The New York Times, or a relatively new player like Nexo Jornal in Brazil. As more users shift their news habits to digital platforms, a growing number of journalists are learning how to become product experts to help their organizations diversify revenue. A product expert in a newsroom can help disparate areas work together with the goal of serving both audience needs and business growth.

Because product expertise in newsrooms is an emerging field, product professionals in newsrooms can struggle to find peers in similar roles. Google is a product-driven company, with many product engineers who have refined best practices and are eager to support journalism and connect with journalists working in this field. Today, we're announcing our support for the News Product Alliance, a global community of product experts that is aimed at building communities of practice and support for product professionals in newsrooms.

Our first collaboration will be around the News Product Alliance Summit, the first global annual event dedicated to connecting product professionals from across the news industry. The summit will bring 300 participants virtually together and feature two programming tracks: Support and Practice. In the Support track, participants will connect with peers and discuss topics like navigating a unique career path, confronting challenges in their work and building confidence as a leader and change-maker. 

In the Practice track, attendants will learn new skills, share case studies and insights and collaborate to define best practices for news product management. In this track, William Vambenepe, our product management director for news, will lead a session to share lessons about product management at Google.You can apply to participate until March 5. 

Finding the right people to fill product roles within news organizations can be very difficult, according to a 2019 survey of more than 130 publishing executives. There is a big skill gap and these are not positions that can be easily filled with product experts from other industries. The challenge can be especially acute for small newsrooms, which can often have limited resources. It’s also important for newsrooms to diversify their staff and find product experts who have different perspectives and backgrounds. 

That's why we're also supporting the News Product Alliance Summit with diversity, equity and inclusion scholarships, to broaden access to underrepresented communities. If you are part of a historically marginalized group and want to attend the summit, make sure to note that in the application

Supporting associations like the News Product Alliance is key to help product experts, newsrooms and tech companies connect, share skills and collaborate to build a better future for news. We hope our support will help create even more vibrant connections in the community.

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