Empowering newsrooms through innovation
Madhav Chinnappa, Director of News Ecosystem Development
Transformation can be difficult; having worked in news organizations for most of my career, I know that personally. Innovation requires being open to experimentation, trying new ideas, testing them and sometimes failing.
New technology creates new opportunities, and we’ve seen this reflected as news organizations help us understand the world through data journalism and use machine learning to transform the way news is made and consumed. We’re also listening to how we can support newsrooms through technology, which is why we launched Journalist Studio to provide reporters with tools that help them do their work more efficiently.
Building on the work of the Digital News Innovation Fund in Europe, we’ve committed over $40 million through the GNI Innovation Challenge and YouTube Innovation Funding to help 213 news organizations try new ideas. Some partners experimented with new ways of storytelling, others used local journalism to help elderly readers in Japan stay informed. We saw outlets experiment with new revenue streams, create new products to streamline reader contributions and build the first membership program in Myanmar, where press freedom is at risk.
It’s been amazing to see how those open calls for new ideas stimulated new thinking and generated powerful collaboration between publishers.
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 societies 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.