Google Digital News Initiative: Part 1 – Journalism 3.0 the road to recovery

03.07.2019 · By Farah Khalique

In a world of fake news, war games and Trump we need high-quality journalism more than ever. But the media is under constant threat. A decline of newspaper advertising spend in the Digital Age – coupled with an insatiable demand for free content 24/7 – has publishers in a bind. 

Journalism is what maintains democracy. It’s the force for progressive social change.

American novelist, Andrew Vachss

Local newspapers are a thing of the past. National newsrooms are cutting staff and slashing salaries. All the while, resorting to pumping out clickbait to eke out ad revenues. Even the hallowed BBC stands accused of dumbing down its content. How can good journalism survive?

Google New Initiative’s helping hand

A ray of hope comes from an unlikely source: Google. Having crushed newspapers to dominate the advertising pie, the tech giant understands its pivotal role in shaping the press. Unlike Facebook –  which was slow to acknowledge the degree of its influence – Google has been steadily investing in the media via the Google News Initiative. This is part of its mission to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age.

Google cares deeply about journalism. We believe deeply in spreading knowledge to make life better for everyone. It’s at the heart of Google’s mission. It’s the mission of publishers and journalists. Put simply, our futures are tied.

Google CEO, Sundar Pinchai

Reviving journalism

Google’s Digital Innovation Fund has awarded millions to projects that battle misinformation, tell local stories, boost digital revenues and explore new technologies. The final round of funding closed at the end of last year. Now, the ventures it funded are starting to bear fruit. The people behind these projects are using cutting-edge digital innovation to restore quality journalism.


A free and thriving press benefits us all, in the end. Fake news is frightening. No one wants to see clickbait take over real news as publishers scramble for revenues, or scandals go unreported as newspapers slash headcount. In this series of blog posts, we explore how companies that won funding from the Digital Innovation Fund are helping to revive journalism.


TRUE 212 won funding for its pitch to make life easier for writers by using artificial intelligence – LOYAL AI. Stay tuned to learn how our LOYAL AI Editorial Research assistants can help writers be more productive, so they can focus on what truly matters – writing stories, engaging with readers and investigating.

Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault

American journalist and diplomat, Henry Anatole Grunwald