With $25 Mn Investment, Google Expands News Initiative To YouTube

After introducing Google News Initiative Training Network in India for the digital media platforms, the global giant has now expanded the programme to YouTube.
In a blog, the company said it will now also focus on the video specific content on YouTube to build sustainable video operations and improve the news experience, at the same time attempting to curb fake news on the video platform.
In a recent blog post, Google announced a commitment of $25 Mn to the YouTube specific initiative. It highlighted that it will provide:
Expertise: With a working group with news organisations and experts from around the world, the company plans to develop new product features, improve the news experience on YouTube, and tackle emerging challenges. News organizations including Vox Media, Jovem Pan, and India Today are early members of the working group.
Innovation Funding: The company will provide funding across approximately 20 global markets to support news organizations in building sustainable video operations. Provided on an application basis to news organizations of all types, these grants will enable the partners to build key capabilities, train staff on video best practices, enhance production facilities and develop formats optimized for online video.
Support: The company is also significantly expanding its team focused on supporting news publishers. These specialists will be based around the world and support partners with training and best practices in formats, audience development, day-to-day platform operations, and sophisticated technical integrations.
Google News Initiative: Expanding Portfolio
Introduced in India with an aim to support trusted and authoritative journalism, the Google News training network will support journalists from across India in their fight against misinformation by providing them with in-depth and hands-on verification training.
At the same time, the company is also working on expanding its product services to surface authoritative sources. For this Google is providing more sources and context on breaking news beginning with the US while also expanding its top and breaking news segment.
Google is also focusing on the local touch with a focus on local news. The company has now begun testing features that surface local news in the free YouTube app for TV screens across 25 media markets around the United States.
At the same time, the company is also identifying the need of context by giving users more sources of information on topical searches and videos.
Going forward, the company has also expanded its Google News Initiative with Poynter Institute, Stanford University, Local Media Association, and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) to support MediaWise, a US-based initiative designed to equip 1 Mn teens with digital literacy skills.
Six YouTube Creators, including John Green, Ingrid Nilsen, and Mark Watson, will be working with MediaWise to bring awareness to digital literacy and help educate teens.
With fake news already causing deaths and Ministry issuing a warning to WhatsApp, which has now launched Forwards label in an attempt to address the issue, Google’s initiative to empower journalism and expanding it to YouTube can be expected to have a positive impact further on the ecosystem.

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