Google recently launched Google News Initiative (GNI) to combat fake news, pledging $300 million to the cause over the next three years.
Google describes their initiative as an “effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age.” This program is similar to Google’s Digital News Innovation Fund, a European program meant to help journalists thrive in the digital age. However, the GNI will be larger with a global outreach.
They announced GNI on March 20, saying that the initiative was looking to “build a stronger future for journalism.”
There are three main goals to this initiative: highlight accurate journalism while fighting fake news, help news sites continue to survive and thrive, and create new tools to help journalists succeed.
— Google News Initiative (@GoogleNewsInit) April 6, 2018
According to Google’s chief business officer Philipp Schindler, “Google will work directly with newsrooms to identify and combat misinformation” as part of the GNI initiative.
Maggie Shiels, an employee of Google’s Corporate Communications team, said that the Google News Initiative “is already underway” in an interview with MediaFile.
Some elements of the initiative are already starting to benefit the industry. For example, Google is making it easier to subscribe to premium content on various newspapers and publications. The tool, called Subscribe with Google, lets people buy a subscription using their Google account, saving time required to make an account.
Google has even created videos to help users learn how to use the Google Subscribe function.
Google hopes that by making the subscription process easier, it will encourage more people to buy subscriptions to various news sites.
Google is has been working in other areas as well to improve the quality of news and education. In addition to the GNI, Google debuted their Rolling Study Halls initiative this month to get Wifi on school buses. The aim is to make the drive time more productive for students.
Schindler told EWeek that, “Business models for journalism continue to change drastically. The rapid evolution of technology is challenging all institutions, including the news industry, to keep pace.”
The Google News Initiative aims to improve the quality and accurateness of news online through this $300 million investment, improved news functions, and extensive efforts to change the existing news habits of Google users.