Google will now fund 10 Indian media companies under the Google News Initiative, to support these media companies in their fight against fake news.
Google News Initiative was launched globally in March as part of Google’s commitment to support the new’s industry’s surprising shift in the quality of the news process. It’s focused on three objectives: elevate and strengthen quality journalism, evolve business models to drive sustainable growth; and empower news organisations through technological innovation.
When it reached the Indian shores in June, around 8,000 journalists were provided with in-depth, hands-on verification training in English and six other languages as the year progressed. This was to help the country battle the misinformation and fake news bug that has been taking the country by a storm.
Google then took it a notch further by pledging $25 million to help agencies and publishers explore the digital media world and experiment with new formats for video journalism. The amount was put towards YouTube-specific news.
The 10 media companies chosen by Google include Asianet News Media, Bharatiya digital party (BhaDiPa), FACTLY, Gaon Connection, India Today Group, Live Data Visualisation Pvt Ltd, NDTV, NYOOOZ, ShepHertz, and Video Volunteers.
In an official statement, Google said many of these projects are focused on expanding newsroom video operations and trying out new ways of reporting news through video – from reaching younger audiences online to exploring live and fact-checking formats.
The company has now selected 87 organisations from 23 countries for the funding initiative, out of which 10 are from India. Google is also working on new business models and various other programs to foster a healthy news ecosystem.
A number of social media platforms are doing their bit to prevent the spread of fake news. Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Twitter was partnering with law enforcement agencies and regulators to curb fake news and prevent trolling on their platform. Facebook had also launched a third party fact checker on its Indian platform.