Richard Gingras: Building a stronger future for journalism

There are two universal truths about the state of the news industry today — demand for quality journalism has never been higher, and the need for news businesses to embrace the transition to digital has never been more critical. When we launched the Google News Initiative in 2018, news businesses might have presumed they had time to make this shift in a methodical and considered way. COVID-19 changed that timetable drastically.
The unanticipated upheaval of this year has affected how we continue to enable innovation in news. In planning for the future, it’s helpful to know what we’ve learned from the past. Our first GNI Impact Report looks at what we have done in collaboration with the news industry over the last couple of years to see what worked and where there are opportunities for growth.
Over the last two years, the Google News Initiative has supported more than 6,250 news partners in 118 countries through $189 million in global funding, programs, tools and resources.
We remain committed to focusing on three key areas:
•Elevating Quality Journalism•Evolving Sustainable Business Models•Empowering Newsrooms Through Innovation
We don’t have all the answers yet, but we’ll continue to test new ideas with partners and publishers around the world. Sometimes these experiments fail—but that’s how we learn more so we can have the most impact in the coming years.
What’s next? The simple answer is “more.” More focus on building sustainable growth for local, through programs like the Local News Experiments Project. More tools like Pinpoint that save on newsroom costs and help journalists focus on creating quality journalism. More efforts like the Digital Growth Program to help publishers adapt and grow their businesses. And more collaboration, which is at the heart of everything we do at the GNI.
The Internet has changed our world. It has changed societal behavior in ways we expected and ways we did not. The news industry and Google must continue to understand the impact of these changes and explore how we might innovate our way to solutions. We have both the need and the opportunity to rethink the role news plays in people’s lives and rethink how we can enable the citizens of our societes to have the tools and information they need to be informed citizens. We remain committed to working closely with the journalism community to build the constructive and sustainable news ecosystem that’s necessary for our open societies to thrive.
-Richard Gingras, VP, News, Google


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