The fight against fake news and propaganda is an ongoing battle on all fronts. Google is one of the organizations that is putting their money where their mouth is by committing part of their earnings into helping credible news organizations bring a better news experience across all their products. Now their Google News Initiative (GNI) is rolling out to more countries and organizations and specifically with the online video experience on YouTube. They are investing $25 million in YouTube initiatives “to support the future of news”.
First off, YouTube is putting up a working group of news organizations and media experts from around the world to help them come up with new product features and improve users’ news experience on the video sharing platform. Some of the early members of this group are Vox Media, Jovem Pan, and India Today, but they will be adding more members before they convene for the first time. They will also provide funding for news organizations across 20 markets to help them build “sustainable video operations”. The grant will include building infrastructure, training personnel, enhancing production facilities, etc. YouTube will also be expanding their support team around the world in production, operations, and technology aspects. All these things are part of their Global News Initiative which they just launched earlier this year.
Google wants YouTube to become a hub of credible sources when it comes to breaking news but also acknowledges that quality videos will take some time to produce and upload. So in the next few weeks, when you search about breaking news, you’ll also see a short preview of news articles in the search results in the initial hours of a major news event. Clicking on that preview will lead to the full article and a reminder that this is still a developing story and so things may change over the next minutes or hours. You will also now see information from third-party sources like Wikipedia or Encyclopedia Brittanica when you search for historical events and scientific topics that are “subject to misinformation” (aka moon landing, Oklahoma City bombing, etc).
You will also now see Top News and Breaking News shelves that will highlight videos from trusted news organizations, directly on your YouTube homepage. This will be available in 17 countries only for now, including U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, and Nigeria. But they plan to double the number of countries within the next couple of months. They are also adding more local news sources in 25 markets around the US, as the engagement with local news is pretty strong.
Lastly, Google is also investing in digital literacy education because they know that even if you have all of these credible sources if people don’t know how to properly engage with media, they will become pretty useless. They are partnering with organizations like Poynter Institute, Stanford University, Local Media Association, and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) to support MediaWise. They have tapped six YouTube creators which includes author John Green, Ingrid Nilsen, and Mark Watson, to create videos to educate teens on digital literacy.
July 10, 2018 at 05:03AM