In India, Google announced its new ‘GNI Startups Lab India’ accelerator program for independent local or topical journalism organizations on Thursday.
In its Google News Initiative (GNI), the tech giant will provide four-month support to independent local and subject-specific journalism organizations. With the help of intensive coaching and training, these organizations will be able to achieve financial and operational sustainability.
As part of its new GNI Startups Lab India initiative, Google announced a collaboration with Echos (an innovation lab in New York City) and DIGIPUB News India Foundation that will support quality reporting on local and underserved areas.
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News startups that publish in Indian languages are eligible for the program. The first cohort of independent digital news publishers in India will be selected from applications received until October 18, 2021. All components of a thriving democracy rely on access to reliable information, Google said.
In addition, we have continued to support newsrooms by helping them develop new business models, while helping to sustain journalism, and are helping to engage their audiences through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” it noted.
DIGIPUB’s network and community as well as Echo’s experience supporting media startups during the 16-week program will benefit participants.
Echos’ experience supporting startup media and the DIGIPUB network and community will be present in workshops and coaching during the 16-week program. Additionally to English and Hindi, Google News and Discover now feature dedicated News Showcase panels in Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.
The news will be available in more languages, which will benefit the readers. Now that a total of 50 partners, representing more than 70 publications, have signed up, it has onboarded a total of more than 50 languages and new partners.