Mar 20, 2018

Google launches $300 million effort to help news publishers

Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images

Google is launching the Google News Initiative (GNI), in an effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age. The tech giant says it’s committing more than $300 million over the next three years toward building products that address the news industry’s biggest needs, like driving building sustainable business models and elevating quality journalism.

Why it matters: Publishers have struggled to navigate distribution and content partnerships with Google, Facebook and other open platforms because the economic dynamics of those relationships often didn’t fall in favor of those who own the content. As a result, these companies suffered reputational damage for not being perceived as caring enough about fake news, misinformation and the survival of real journalism.

Google says the investment signifies a major milestone in Google’s 15-year commitment to the news industry. 

  • Last year, the company says it paid $12.6 billion to publishing partners (not exclusive to news) and it drove 10 billion clicks a month to publishers’ websites for free.

Google has had a more sustained publisher relationship with most publishers than Facebook. While no distribution relationship is perfect, publishers over the past year have vocalized generally that Google has been more transparent with them about tests and experiments than some of its counterparts.

  • "Google really has been an origination where we feel we have an equal seat at the table," says Beth Diaz, VP of Audience Development at the Washington Post.

The company has launched a number of products to help news publishers adapt to the mobile-first world in an effort to meet their audiences where they spend the most time, on their phones. Some of the bigger partnerships they launched include:

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 1,187,798 — Total deaths: 64,084 — Total recoveries: 245,949Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 301,902 — Total deaths: 8,175 — Total recoveries: 14,505Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus. America's small business bailout off to bad start.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 8,000 in the U.S. on Saturday afternoon, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day for the past four days, since April 1.

The big picture: As expected, COVID-19 death tolls are rising in the U.S. The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread, marking a significant change in messaging from the Trump administration.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: Spain tracks more cases than Italy

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain overtook Italy in its number of coronavirus cases on Saturday. The global death toll has surpassed 62,000, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: About half the planet's population is on lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis. Fatalities are exponentially increasing across Europe, with roughly half of deaths worldwide located in Italy and Spain.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health