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Google commits $300m to help news publishers

Google is stepping up efforts to improve relations with news publishers with a $300m commitment that includes support for subscriptions and efforts to fight fake news.

The launch of the Google News Initiative comes as Google and Facebook face criticism for their emergence as gatekeepers for information, their dominance of the digital advertising market and their role in the proliferation of false and misleading stories online in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election and UK Brexit vote.

The project includes a subscription sales process, promotion of “authoritative” news sources in search results and efforts to fight false and misleading information during elections and breaking news events.

“The commitments we’re making through the Google News Initiative demonstrates that news and quality journalism is a top priority for Google,” Philipp Schindler, chief business officer, said in a blog post.

The corporate is pledging $300m over the subsequent three years to the undertaking, which focuses on three areas: emphasising “high quality journalism”, supporting enterprise fashions and integrating expertise corresponding to digital actuality in newsrooms. 

Subscription income has emerged as an necessary supply of assist for a lot of publishers who’ve discovered it troublesome to problem the size of Google and Fb to win digital promoting dollars.

Google will work with publishers on a brand new “Subscribe with Google” characteristic that enables folks to make use of their Google accounts and cost strategies to subscribe to information shops, each on their very own websites and on Google-served pages. When folks use the characteristic to subscribe or hyperlink subscriptions to their Google accounts, outcomes from these publishers will seem in a devoted field of their search outcomes.

The subscription characteristic is launching with 17 companions together with the Monetary Occasions, New York Occasions, Telegraph and Washington Put up.

At Google’s launch occasion in New York, Beth Dias, vice-president of viewers improvement on the Washington Put up, mentioned the characteristic would assist the newspaper appeal to new paying readers and remind current subscribers that they’ve entry to Washington Put up tales.

“Something that we will do to streamline the method is extremely beneficial,” she mentioned. “That is the place Subscribe with Google is available in: by decreasing the friction within the course of and making at simple as attainable for our customers to turn into subscribers.”

The corporate can be testing methods to assist publishers determine readers who is likely to be taken with subscribing and goal them with subscription gives.

To curb fake news in search outcomes by itself websites, Google mentioned it could enhance its algorithms to offer better weight to “authoritative sources” in search outcomes and spotlight “related content material from verified information sources” in YouTube’s high information part.

The corporate will associate with researchers on a undertaking geared toward stemming the unfold of misinformation and disinformation throughout elections and breaking information occasions. Additionally it is launching a undertaking to enhance digital literacy for younger folks.

Final yr, Fb introduced its personal olive department to publishers, the Facebook Journalism Project, which included related commitments to data literacy and assist for the enterprise fashions of stories shops. 

The world’s largest social community has been testing methods to assist publishers promote subscriptions on its web site. It has promised to advertise “reliable” information sources in its customers’ feeds, even because it modified its algorithm to point out fewer tales from information organisations and different teams because it sought to spice up posts from family and friends.

Apple can be increase its relationships with the publishing business. Earlier this month it acquired Texture, a digital journal subscription app.

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