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Google News Initiative is here to fight misinformation and help journalism thrive

By Ng Chong Seng - on 21 Mar 2018, 10:38am

Google News Initiative is here to fight misinformation and help journalism thrive

Google has today announced Google News Initiative (GNI), which highlights the collective efforts the company has done (or is doing) to combat misinformation and strengthen quality journalism.

According to Google, GNI is focused on three objectives: promote accurate journalism; help news organizations fight fake news and grow financially at the same time; and help said news organizations do a better job through new technology and tools. The company has pledged to commit US$300 million over the next three years to meet these goals.

Clearly aware of the size and influence of its own platforms, Google says it’s focused on fighting misinformation during breaking news situations, and is training its systems to display or promote “more authoritative content.” For example on YouTube, the “Top News” shelf is supposed to highlight relevant content from verified news sources.

Google is also working directly with news sites, and has announced that it’s partnering with First Draft to launch a Disinfo Lab to “combat mis- and disinformation during elections and breaking news moments.” There’s also a U.S.-focused project called MediaWise that aims to improve digital information literacy for young consumers.

Google is also launching Subscribe with Google to help publishers get more readers through an easier subscription process. In broad strokes, you can easily, quickly, and securely subscribe to premium content on participating new sites using the payment info you’ve on file with Google. Thanks to machine learning, Google is now testing a way that enables publishers to recognize potential subscribers, so as to present them the right offer at the right time. The search giant is also promoting News Consumer Insights, a new dashboard built on top of Google Analytics, as a way for news sites of all sizes with a subscription strategy to better understand and segment their audiences.

Finally, Google says it’ll continue to develop technology to enhance journalism, be it improving newsroom efficiency, creating rich storytelling experiences, or protecting journalists from cyber attacks. Also launching today is Outline, an open source tool for news organizations to set a up a corporate virtual private network (VPN) on their own server to more safely connect to the internet and keep their communication private.

Source: Google.