Google sets aside $25m to support video news journalism in 20 countries

Grants for training in video and improvement of production facilities in news groups

Google said it would start to showcase local news more within its search results. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Google said it would start to showcase local news more within its search results. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Google is set to extend its global initiative aimed at supporting journalism in the digital age to online video, with a $25 million investment that will include funding to help news organisations build sustainable video operations.

The grants will be available to news firms across about 20 global markets and will help companies to build key capabilities, train staff and improve production facilities, and develop formats optimised for online video.

The Google News Initiative, a worldwide expansion of the company’s digital news project in Europe, began in March and is intended to support journalism and fight back against misinformation.

Google said it would start to showcase local news more within its search results, starting with organisations in the United States, and also add information from third parties such as Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica alongside YouTube videos on certain topics, such as the moon landings.

“We believe quality journalism requires sustainable revenue streams and that we have a responsibility to support innovation in products and funding for news,” the company said in a post.

“The work of trusted journalistic organisations is as critical as ever, especially when it comes to seeking information about current events online.”

Working group

The company also said it would establishing a working group with news organisations and experts to develop new product features and improve the news experience on YouTube. Among the early members of this group are Vox Media, Jovem Pan and India Today, with others expected to join in the coming weeks.

Authoritative sources will also be given more prominence, with Google set to include a preview of news articles in YouTube search results for major news events, linking to the full article.

Google also has highlights videos from news sources in search results on its Top News slot, and also breaking news on YouTube’s home page. That feature is available in 17 countries, including Ireland, with Google planning to add more in the coming months.

“We remain committed to working with the journalism community to build a more sustainable video ecosystem for news organisations,” Google said. We know there is a lot of work to do, but we’re eager to provide a better experience to users who come to YouTube every day to learn more about what is happening in the world from a diversity of sources.”