New Delhi, India – As India grapples with the virus, now having a record-high rate of daily cases in the world, Google has come to give support to its news ecosystem, with the launch of Google News Showcase.  

First launched in 2020, Google News Showcase helps participating publishers share their expertise and editorial voice through an enhanced storytelling experience. In addition, the experience lets readers dive deeper into more complex stories. It helps them stay informed on the issues and events that local, national, and global newsrooms highlight through their Google News Showcase panels.

Google News Showcase incentivizes and supports news publishers to curate high quality content on Google’s News and Discover platforms, connecting readers with the news they need.

Google News Showcase will rollout across 30 news publishers including The Hindu Group, HT Digital Streams Ltd, Indian Express Group, ABP LIVE, India TV, NDTV, Zee News, Amar Ujala, Deccan Herald, Punjab Kesari, The Telegraph India, IANS (Indo Asian News Service) and ANI.

In addition, English and Hindi news from the aforementioned publishers will show on the dedicated News Showcase panels in Google News and on Discover.

Google hopes in the near future to add more Indic languages to their News Showcase, as well as additional languages globally.

The launch is part of a global initiative by Google to support publishers that report on local or community news. To date, Google has signed in 700 news publications in more than a dozen countries, including Germany, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, the U.K. Australia, Czechia, Italy and Argentina.

In a joint statement, Brad Bender, VP for product management at Google News and Sanjay Gupta, vice president at Google India, stated that this initiative will help people find quality journalism, contribute to the sustainability of news organizations, and expand their programs under the Google News Initiative — enabling newsrooms to engage their readers in new and compelling ways through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

In addition to the News Showcase rollout, Google is also training 50,000 journalists and journalism students in the country for its News Lab initiative, where they will focus on digital tools to aid verification and combat misinformation online, as well as expanding their programs to connect Indian journalists and fact-checkers.

They will be also introducing several new programs to help small and mid-sized publications achieve financial sustainability – all part of the GNI Digital Growth Program, which has already trained executives at 100 Indian news organizations since launching last year. The new programs include: 

  • New business training workshops, delivered virtually, to help news organizations address the needs of their audiences, grow their readership and deepen reader engagement. These workshops will be available for free to Indian publishers, alongside Google’s existing workshops to support business success for news organizations. 
  • The GNI Advertising Lab, which includes training sessions and implementation support to help more than 800 small-sized Indian news organizations grow their digital ad revenue. 
  • The GNI Transformation Lab, a more comprehensive program for 20 local small and mid-sized Indian news organizations to help them succeed online.

Google has ramped up its news support in India back in 2018 when they first launched the GNI India Training Network, in partnership with BoomLive, DataLeads and Internews. The program has trained over 25,000 Indian journalists in-person or via virtual live workshops in 10 languages, touching 1,000+ news organizations and 700+ universities.

“The Indian news industry and its journalists have embraced technology to engage with readers and make data-driven decisions to improve their business and reporting efforts. We believe it’s important that digital platforms contribute to a sustainable, independent and diverse news ecosystem, working with journalists, news outlets and news associations. We’re proud to be strengthening our commitment at this critical time,” Google said in a press statement.