This is what the Google News Initiative means for the news industry


At next week’s Media Transformation Conference attendees will get a comprehensive update on the Google News Initiative and media companies will learn how to participate.

David Brooks, Head of News Partnerships, Google, will talk about GNI’s $300 million commitment to collaborate with the news industry to build a stronger future for journalism. Six months later, the initiative is well underway, with a variety of products, partnerships, and programs.

We caught up with Brooks to hear more about the initiative:

1. You are six months into the GNI program, a $300 million commitment from Google. Tell us a little about the mission?

The goal of the Google News Initiative is centered around three primary goals: 1) elevating and strengthening quality journalism, 2) enabling new business models to support quality journalism, and 3) empowering news organizations to leverage technology for innovation in the newsrooms. To accomplish this, we’ve engaged with news partners to create new products, partnerships, and programs.

As part of the GNI, we announced the launch of our subscription product, Subscribe with Google. We continue to refine our existing tools and products for news partners, and develop new ones as well.

We’ve also been working collaboratively with key partners in the news ecosystem – from groups like the Local Media Association, to Matter, or The Trust Project. These partnerships help us deepen our understanding of the business and journalistic needs of these news partners and the challenges the industry faces.

Lastly, we have built programs to support our news partners. For example, the News Lab team provides scalable training to newsrooms. We recently announced the GNI Cloud Program, which gives tools to power productivity, collaboration, and business growth free of charge to qualifying news organizations.

2. What are some of the products and programs that have happened because of GNI?

We have built several products and programs to meet the needs of journalists and news organizations so they can succeed on the web. For example, the GNI YouTube investment in online video for publishers in 20 markets, the Cloud program offer of 200,000 free G Suite licenses to small and mid sized news organizations, and News Consumer Insights to help news organizations understand their audiences are all programs built from the GNI. In addition, we are supporting programs like Report for America to increase the amount of young journalists in local newsrooms. We encourage every local news organization to take advantage of these and many more programs. To see a full list of programs and products developed out of the GNI visit our site today.

3. For media companies out there interested to know how they could get involved in the program, what can you tell them?

The Google News Initiative was built to help news organizations from all over the world. This is a global effort that comes with a $300M investment in programs, projects and partnerships. Through the GNI, we are looking to work with companies in a number of ways, such as: training, newsroom partnerships, funding for video and cloud capabilities and more. To see how you can get involved, please visit us here.

4. Why is Google putting such a focus on working with the news industry right now?

We know that running a publishing business is already very complex and now it faces an even more challenging and complicated reality. First, on the open web, anyone can be a source of information. Second, journalism’s economic models are changing. Third, the evolution of technology is challenging all institutions to keep pace.

That’s why these challenges require us to work together more than ever before. This is why after a lot of hard work we were honored to launch a company-wide effort to help quality journalism in the digital age, called the GNI.