Google News Initiative – To fight fake news and help Publishers

Updated on: December 29, 2023
Google News Initiative aims to remove the hassles involved in a digital content subscription and offers a stream of solution to help the digital publishing industry.

Google is rolling out the ‘Google News Initiative’, a step to eliminate fake news and improve the publisher’s monetization of digital content. It is planning to invest $300 million in the next three years to launch a stream of products, to achieve its mission of helping journalism thrive in the digital age. Let’s see what Google News Initiative holds for publishers. 

Subscribe with Google:

‘Subscribe with Google’ is the recently launched product of the Google News Initiative, which aims to remove the hassles involved in a digital content subscription. For instance, you can subscribe to any major publications while reading an article, with a click using your Google Account. You don’t even need to leave the page. Google then uses the same card details for future subscriptions. It’s pretty much familiar. Remember One Account for all the services? Now, One Account for all the subscriptions.  

The best part is, Google will match its content with your search queries to deliver the content from them.

Example: If you’re looking to read content on ‘How to take care of a cat’ and the publisher you just subscribed to has the content on the same topic, Google will show it to you over the Search Engine Results. Thus, publishers will be given more chances to engage with their readers by writing relevant and targeted content.

However, Google said the search engine results will not be affected by this product. Publishers such as The New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, and The Financial Times have been giving it a test run.  

One of the early participants The New York Times’ COO Meredith Levien said, there’s no arguing that the atomization of the experience of journalism has been bad for the business of journalism. She sees the News Initiative as a positive step and is happy to participate. Google’s latest initiative, she said, “isn’t the whole answer, and there’s more to be written here … but the details make sense to us.”

The tool allows publishers to engage and attract more loyal readers and subscribers. And, Google naturally takes a Cut.

So What’s next?

Google has been working with the First Draft, a project-based out of Harvard’s Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center to develop a new tool called ‘Disinfo Lab’. This is expected to snuff out “fake news” and “mis/disinformation during elections and breaking news moments”.

Also, Google is working on another Media Literacy Project called ‘MediaWise’, along with Poynter, Stanford, and the Local Media Association.

The reason Google started combating the “fake news” is due to the rise of misinformation to the top on both Google and Youtube. The recent one being ‘Porkland Teenager acted as a shooting-incident survivor and trended on Youtube and Google’.

The Future of Journalism?

Without a doubt, GNI will help publishers engage and attract readers in a way it’s never been done before. And, Publishers seem happy that Google is taking an initiative to fight against fake news and misinformation spread.

Putting up a paywall might not be an option for all the publishers out there. So, the adoption will definitely increase among the premium publishers and GNI probably has different plans to help out the mid-range market. We’ll keep an eye out for you.

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