Google is investing ksh2.5 billion in a pact with media houses in what it says will help in stemming the flow of misinformation in the news industry, one that has been eminent for both mainstream and online platforms.
For example, during breaking news or crisis situations, stemming the tide of misinformation can be challenging. Speculation can outrun facts as legitimate news outlets on the ground are still investigating. The multinational tech company is looking to expand its work supporting the news ecosystem’s long-term success in online video with a special focus on YouTube.
This comes after Google launched Google News Initiative with a goal of helping Journalism thrive in this digital age and subsequently launched Google News App in Kenya. Google News Initiative under a 30 billion investment seeks to elevate, strengthen quality journalism, and evolve business models in the field so as to drive sustainable growth all through technological innovation.
At the same time, bad actors continue to publish content on forums and social media with the intent to mislead and capture people’s attention as they rush to find trusted information online. Google has therefore improved its Google News platform to put more emphasis on authoritative results over factors of freshness and relevancy.
One of the new features on YouTube app is the Top News shelf which prominently highlights videos from news sources in search results. The Breaking News shelf will also highlight videos from news organizations about an event directly on the YouTube homepage. Today, the Top News and Breaking News features are launched in 17 countries, including the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria and more. GNI, however, promises to double that number in the coming months.
The 2.5 billion investment by You-Tube will focus on;
Expertise to help develop new product features as well as improve news experience by establishing a working group with news organisations and experts across the world.
Innovation Funding Google News Initiative will provide funding across 20 global markets to support news organisations in building sustainable video operations. Partners will be in a position to train staff, enhance production facilities and develop formats optimised for online video.
Support News publishers supported by the YouTube specified investment will be based around the world and support partners with training and best practices in formats, audience development, day-to-day platform operations, and sophisticated technical integrations.