At the FT Media Conference in London, Carlo D'Asaro Biondo, Google's President of Strategic Partnerships, Europe, outlined Google's plan to work with the news industry, and announced the Digital News Initiative, a partnership to support journalism in Europe through technology. Google plans to create a publishers’ working group from across Europe to explore product developments aimed at increasing revenue, traffic and audience engagement.
The company will also increase its investment in training and research. Through the newly established News Lab team, it will bring dedicated training resources to European newsrooms for the first time. Google is creating training programmes with a number of journalism organisations, including the European Journalism Centre, the Global Editors Network and the International News Media Association.
The search giant will invest in research into the fast changing media landscape. The company is partnering with the Reuters Institute in Oxford to create a comprehensive picture of how the consumption of news is evolving in Europe. For 2016 the Reuters Institute Digital News Report will be expanded to cover 20 European countries.
In addition, Google will set up a grants programme for academic institutions who wish to carry out research into the growing field of computational journalism. And it will extend the Google Journalism Fellowships programme to Europe, aimed at students interested in using technology to tell stories in new and dynamic ways.
Google said it has allocated 150 million euros to stimulating and supporting innovation in digital journalism within the news industry in Europe, over the next three years.
Joining Google in announcing the Digital News Initiative are some of the biggest names in European news publishing.
- The Guardian and The Financial Times here in the UK
- Die Zeit and FAZ from Germany
- Les Echos from France
- La Stampa from Italy
- El Pais from Spain
- NRC Media from the Netherlands
Over the years, Google’s relationship with news and the news industry has often been misunderstood and sometimes misreported. The Internet giant has had a difficult relationship with publishers in many countries in Europe over using snippets for its news indexing.
Gogole's move also comes just weeks after the European Commission charged Google with abusing its dominant position in Internet search services in Europe and started an antitrust probe into Android over app bundling practices.