The age of digital news portals is growing as readership patterns in India see a seismic shift. To support, train, and scale digital news start-ups, Google announced an accelerator programme. It would teach entrepreneurs how to use digital tools to verify and combat online misinformation.
Under the Google News Initiative (GNI) Start-ups Lab programme, Google will select 10 independent digital news publishers to participate in the first cohort in India. Additionally, it announced that it will support start-ups publishing local news across Indian languages. This will be in partnership with Echoes and DIGIPUB News India Foundation.
Further, the programme will consist of three phases: product development, growth & marketing, and finance & investment. This program begins in November 2021 and ends in February 2022. Applications must be received by October 18.
This program will provide Google with business training workshops on audience development and product innovation. As a result news organizations will better address the needs of their audiences, grow their readership, and engage their readers more deeply. The workshops will be provided free of charge to 10 Indian publishers. Alongside existing workshops that support public news organizations in their business success.
During the announcement of the launch of Google News Showcase in India, Google also announced that it will train 50,000 journalists and journalism students via its News Lab program. Over 25,000 journalists and journalism students have already trained in 10 languages at 700 universities so far.
The Google News Showcase announced earlier this year within the Google News Android and iOS apps. Having partnered with 30 digital news providers across Hindi and English languages, the service would show the top five news articles from each publisher, with users able to mark their favourites.