Google Canada Announces Significant Investments in Canadian News

Investments Will Support Local, Regional and National Journalism Across the Country

TORONTO, June 24, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Google Canada is announcing major investments to support Canadian newsrooms and journalists across the country. 

First, Google Canada is announcing signed agreements with Canadian publishers for Google News Showcase, a new product and licensing program that provides a customizable space for news content in Google News and Discover. These deals will help support Canadian newsrooms who provide comprehensive general interest news to the communities they serve. 

This long-term investment will support news organizations in producing, distributing, and explaining essential information to readers. Among the Canadian publishers signed are Black Press Media, Glacier Media, The Globe and Mail, Métro Média, Narcity Media, SaltWire Network, Village Media and Winnipeg Free Press. Together, the publishers announced today represent over 70 national, regional and community news organizations from coast-to-coast-to-coast in both official languages. 

“We’ve never relied on high-quality, community-based journalism more than we have during the COVID crisis,” says Sabrina Geremia, Vice President and Country Head at Google Canada. “Canadian journalists have been a lifeline, keeping us connected with essential information like changes to stay-at-home orders and where and when to get vaccinated. As we move out of this crisis, Google Canada is stepping up its role to support a sustainable news ecosystem in Canada. By paying publishers directly through our Google News Showcase program and  expanding our Google News Initiative efforts in Canada to train 5,000 Canadian journalists on digital skills over the next three years, our commitment to supporting news in Canada has never been stronger.” 

As part of our licensing deals, we’re also paying news organizations for access to select paywalled content, giving Canadians access to a wide range of news content. We work closely with news outlets to determine the right amount of content to share to help drive subscriptions as users experience the benefits of subscribing to authoritative news outlets. 

Building on the signed publisher agreements announced today, Google is in active conversations with additional publishers across the country to expand the Google News Showcase initiative and strengthen Canada’s access to news. We look forward to launching the product here soon. 

News Showcase is just one part of Google’s overall commitment to the Canadian news ecosystem. Today, Google Canada is also announcing new investments from the Google News Initiative (GNI), a comprehensive effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age. The new investments are in three key areas:

  • Training journalists in digital skills: 
    • Over the next three years Google will train 5,000 Canadian journalists and journalism students on strengthening digital skills in newsrooms — a five-times increase from the 1,000 journalists we’ve already trained to date. 
  • Supporting business sustainability:
    • Google will expand our business-oriented workshops for small and mid-sized news organizations on topics including audience development, reader revenue and advertising revenue. The 10 sessions will be delivered in French and English and build upon our award winning News Consumer Insights tools.
    • Google will also launch its first custom-designed Journalism Startups Boot Camp dedicated exclusively to aspiring Canadian news entrepreneurs starting a business or non-profit journalism project in Canada. Applications will open in the fall. 
  • Promoting news innovation:
    • Google is announcing their third North American Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge to fund selected projects focused on understanding, enhancing and serving the needs of local publishers’ communities. Ideas will generate research approaches to better understand these audiences to rethink product strategy and figure out ways to better serve local communities.  

Today’s news represents a shared goal that Google and news publishers in Canada are focused on — long term success for journalism in Canada. To help achieve that, Google is committed to playing a constructive role and working alongside publishers to enable a sustainable future for news that Canadians can depend on for years to come.

What publishers are saying about News Showcase

“We are pleased that Google has stepped up to the plate and signed an important partnership with Black Press Media and others. There are many other benefits as part of the agreement where Google will assist us in further developing our digital properties. I am pleased to see that Google will also be assisting the small, independent newspapers and websites adapt to an increasing digital world.”

  • Rick O’Connor, CEO and President, Black Press Media

“Google News Showcase will help support news in communities across Canada large and small, and increase accessibility to daily content. In addition, Glacier Media and our partners have benefited directly from the Google News Initiative. Their new initiatives to train more than 5,000 journalists in Canada over the next three years to enhance their digital skills, and to provide business-oriented workshops to small and mid-sized news organizations will also help in communities across the country.”

  • Alvin Brouwer, President Glacier Media Digital

“Google News Showcase will introduce even more readers to our award-winning journalism and we’re pleased to count Google as a global strategic partner. Reaching new audiences and showing them how The Globe can add value to their daily lives is a necessary step in continuing to grow our digital subscriber base, which is the largest in Canada. This long-term, comprehensive partnership will not only support the extraordinary work of our journalists, but it will also help to accelerate our continued investment in technological innovation and improving the reader experience.”

  • Phillip Crawley, CEO & Publisher of The Globe and Mail

“Our partnership will help enhance our effort to create original local journalistic content and strengthen our mission to give a voice to citizens of Montreal and Quebec City. The GNI training has been a source of inspiration for our teams.” 

  • Andrew Mule, President of MétroMédia

 “An investment like this not only benefits us financially as a publisher to help us recruit talented journalists across the country but also widens our audience distribution by attracting readers that might not have considered Narcity as a daily local news source before.” 

  • Chuck Lapointe, CEO of Narcity Media

“Google News Showcase will highlight our best local content and help put it in front of more people.” 

  • Steve Bartlett, Senior Managing Editor at SaltWire Network

“We are thrilled to now be working with the Google team as a part of News Showcase, a project we strongly believe will have a positive impact on the future of our local news ecosystem here in Canada.”

  • Jeff Elgie, CEO, Village Media

“We’re excited to participate in this new project by Google to present fact-based, independent journalism to readers and connect them to trusted sources of news. It will be a substantial boost to our business, exposing our work to a wider audience and providing a more sustainable, long-term model for local news.”

  • Bob Cox, Publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press

What publishers are saying about the Google News Initiative

When the Halifax Examiner joined GNI Startup Labs, I was cautiously optimistic that it would be of value. But the actual experience has been beyond anything I could have dreamed of. Thanks to speaking with other media operators struggling to make sense of our industry, and especially thanks to working hand-in-hand with a coach who walked us through our challenges, the Examiner now has a deeper and more fruitful understanding of our business model, the approach to revenue, and how to prepare for the future and grow.”

  • Tim Bousquet, Editor and Publisher, Halifax Examiner

“Google has offered us important training and assistance in ad sales, building reader revenue through digital subscription growth and developing editorial skills. As well, Google has provided direct support for our newsrooms. In the depths of COVID coverage, we were able to hire summer interns thanks to a Google grant. Our Reader Bridge project, reaching out to traditionally underserved communities to provide more diverse and representative journalism, became possible only once Google stepped up.”

  • Bob Cox, Publisher, Winnipeg Free Press

“We have gained invaluable insight, learnings and opportunities through our time working with the Google News Initiative, which has helped forward our efforts to strengthen the communities we serve and grow local journalism across our network of local news websites.

  • Jeff Elgie, CEO Village Media

About Google Canada 

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. As a global technology leader, Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. Google Canada has offices in Waterloo, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa with over 2,000 Canadian Google employees working on teams across Engineering, AI Research, Sales and Marketing.

SOURCE Google Canada

For further information: [email protected]

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