Apart from presenting news from various publishers to relevant audiences, another responsibility of the Google News initiative is to support local news firms. To that end, the firm has set up relief funds and licensing programs to provide financial compensation to the local news industry in various countries.
For those unaware, Google News Showcase is a new licensing program which allows publishers to monetize their content through an "enhanced storytelling experiences". In some cases, Google may also pay publishers to expose paywalled articles so readers can read them for free. This not only allows publishers to reach a wider audience while being financially compensated but also enables consumers to view content that may not have been accessible to them otherwise. The program is available in a few countries including the UK, Argentina, and Australia.
With News Showcase's launch in India, Google is partnering with over 30 Indian publishers such as The Telegraph India, Deccan Herald, ANI, The Hindu Group, and more. Content from these organizations will be presented in dedicated sections in Google News and Discover. As of now, only Hindi and English content will be promoted, but support for other languages will be added soon. Overall, Google News Showcase now supports over 700 publishers across more than a dozen countries where it's available.
That's not all, though. Google has announced several other programs for India as well. These include training 50,000 journalists and journalism students over the next three years and expanding its digital tooling to connect the Indian news industry to fact-checkers. The company went on to say that:
We are introducing several new programs to help small and mid-sized publications achieve financial sustainability – all part of the GNI Digital Growth Program, which has already trained executives at 100 Indian news organizations since launching last year. The new programs include:
- New business training workshops, delivered virtually, to help news organizations address the needs of their audiences, grow their readership and deepen reader engagement. These workshops will be available for free to Indian publishers, alongside our existing workshops to support business success for news organizations.
- The GNI Advertising Lab, which includes training sessions and implementation support to help more than 800 small-sized (sic) Indian news organizations grow their digital ad revenue.
- The GNI Transformation Lab, a more comprehensive program for 20 local small and mid-sized Indian news organizations to help them succeed online.
Google says that all of these endeavors will strengthen a diverse news ecosystem and empower publishers to make data-driven decisions as they get access to the company's advanced tooling and technology.