The Google News Initiative launched in 2018 to tackle “fake news” and create products that support journalists and the broader industry. One year later, Google is providing an update on its progress, and announcing new tools to fact check content.
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To improve the subscription experience, Google last year introduced Subscribe with Google to tie sign-ups with Google Accounts. Basic user details and payment information can be pre-populated, with Google handling the transaction for publications. Meanwhile, users will automatically be signed into their subscription regardless of device.
A year later, 50 partners from 19 countries are working to use Subscribe with Google, including the Washington Post and the Financial Times. Google is now making the feature available to publishers with membership models, like monthly or annual reader contributions. Partnering with The Guardian, this feature is widely launching later this spring.
Google is also launching a GNI Subscriptions Lab to help 14 publishers in North and Latin America “transform their approach to digital subscriptions.”
Google’s solution to “fake news” is focussed on prioritizing authoritative results from reputable publications and channels on YouTube. In India this month, YouTube began surfacing third-party fact checks from eligible publishers in search results.
GNI is launching two new fact checking tools — with APIs for third-party integration into other products:
- Fact Check Markup tool makes it easy for reporters to put structured data markup into their fact checking content using the open standard ClaimReview
- Fact Check Explorer helps journalists find fact checking articles for various topics through a simple search function
The last focus is on creating “new technology” for news organizations. Created with WordPress, the Newspack CMS optimized for local journalism will be unveiled next week. It’s still in testing with the end product aiming to be fast, secure, and low-cost for small and medium-sized newsrooms.