With journalistic standards suffering due to new digital trends, Google has decided to give journalists a helping hand with a $300 million investment in a new innovative news program. According to Chief Business Office Phillipp Schindler, Google aims to combine all their work with news agencies and journalists into a platform that allows journalism to thrive in the current digital age.
Google is aiming its initiative towards three goals that tackle creating better quality journalism, backing a variety of useful and innovative business models, and funding technologies that support newsrooms in delivering better news reports. The $300 million will be invested over the course of three years on different projects aimed at improving journalism.
The company itself, Schindler says, has good reason to want to support better journalism. For one, Google’s search feature relies upon a free and open web that includes allowing access to high-quality information. In another way, Google shares ad revenue from its DoubleClick business program with their publishing partners. Schindler insists that, for these reasons, it is in Google’s best interest that journalism improves so that Google may grow along with it.
The Google News Initiative is also tackling the onslaught of fake news running rampant through the media and online. Google has partnered up with Harvard Kennedy School’s First Draft to launch Disinfo Lab, which will work to tackle disinformation and subversive propaganda that runs amok during instances of breaking news coverage or elections. They are also launching MediaWise in a collaboration with the Poynter Institute, Stanford University, and the Local Media Association. MediaWise helps consumers of news media, especially youth, to weed out factual from fictional information.
To aid reporters in accessing and delivering news accurately while keeping journalists safe, Google is also launching Outline. This project aims to provide Google journalists with a tool that grants them safer access to open internet through the creation of their own virtual private network (VPN). This allows them to set up connections securely and privately through their own servers and to learn and communicate news safely.