A path to sustainability led by digital subscriptions

During my 10 years at The Boston Globe, we took a different path than most publishers. In 2011, we built a state-of-the-art website that was supported almost entirely by digital subscriptions, at a time when it was uncertain if readers would ever pay for news online. Today, digital subscriptions revenue alone more than covers for the cost of The Globe’s newsroom. Motivated to help others in the industry, I’ve since joined FTI Consulting, where I advise local publishers as they navigate the same existential business questions as we did.

Since I spent the last decade of my life pioneering a new business model for journalism, people often ask me if digital subscriptions can be a viable strategy for local news. Experience has taught me the simple answer is yes.

That’s why FTI Consulting partnered with the Google News Initiative on the GNI Digital Growth Program, a free program to help more small and mid-sized news publishers around the world achieve digital success. Reader revenue is central to the program’s curriculum, which is supported through playbooks, interactive exercises, workshops and labs. The workshops are currently guiding publishers through reader revenue models and sharing lessons learned from news organizations around the world, including those which have participated in the GNI Subscriptions Labs in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Publishers in the North America program, which FTI Consulting partnered on with Google and the Local Media Association, are great examples of the growth potential for local news. While the year-long Lab focused on helping news companies dive deep on digital subscriptions wrapped about six months ago, these publishers share a continued commitment to sustainability led by reader revenue.

As of August, the median year-over-year gain in digital subscriptions revenue for the participating publishers was 86 percent, compared to the industry average of 45 percent. While the business model of each organization is unique, these publishers achieved a higher level of performance by rallying around a shared set of digital metrics proven to make business impact.

For starters, they nearly doubled the conversion rates of their online readers to paying subscribers since the start of the Lab. They achieved this dramatic increase through a variety of tested tactics, including making digital subscriptions a priority, asking readers more often to subscribe and sign up for newsletters, improving and simplifying the online subscription checkout process and increasing website page speed. 

What may be most impressive, though, is that these publishers were able to grow their overall number of subscribers without deep discounts or aggressive promotional offers. In fact, they raised the prices of their digital subscription offerings, even during today’s pandemic. The group’s average revenue per user (ARPU) has increased by 24 percent.

More important than the tactical improvements, publishers involved with the Lab have been able to create the “reader revenue machine,” a term that I use to describe a publisher that has put in place the mindset, processes, capabilities and technology to grow reader revenue continuously. 

A good example of this transformation is The Portland Press Herald. In March, they launched “Digital Only Mondays,” which means they no longer print physical newspapers on Mondays. Within the first few weeks, this experiment increased the digital engagement of their print subscribers by 26 percent, and significantly reduced costs by eliminating one day of printing. The result as of July: The Press Herald was up 114 percent in digital subscriptions revenue compared to last year, and their staff gained the confidence to make bold decisions to support their digital transformation.

The reader revenue growth of The Press Herald is just one example of the bright spots I’ve seen shaping the future of local news. Through the GNI Digital Growth Program, I’m looking forward to working with Google to scale these insights and real world examples to help more publishers build sustainable business models for local journalism.

For those interested in learning more about the best practices that have helped publishers achieve digital subscriber success, join me, Google, other industry leaders and nearly 2,000 news organizations globally for our Reader Revenue workshops. Coming up next week, I will co-host a panel on this very topic. To sign up, visit the workshop registration page.

Journalist Studio premieres with two new tools for reporters

From long-term investigative projects that expose wrongdoing to breaking news analysis of important court decisions, quality journalism often relies on giant collections of documents, images and audio recordings. Reporters are often faced with a tough choice: Take weeks and go it alone, enlist a team of colleagues or try to write a program to scrape the data. 

This well-known frustration was a large focus of my newsroom career when I was the director of digital operations at The Washington Post and Politico’s director of digital product. I found myself constantly working towards a solution for this question: How can reporters focus more time on their core strengths: finding the story, reporting it out,and writing the narrative? 

Our team at Google spent the past two years working collaboratively with newsrooms to help tackle this problem. What would it look like if we put the best of Google’s search, AI and machine learning technology into the hands of reporters?

Today we’re announcing Journalist Studio, a suite of tools that uses technology to help reporters do their work more efficiently, securely and creatively, and two new products for reporters. 

The first tool is Pinpoint. Pinpoint helps reporters quickly go through hundreds of thousands of documents by automatically identifying and organizing the most frequently mentioned people, organizations and locations. Instead of asking users to repeatedly hit “Ctrl+F,” the tool helps reporters use Google Search and Knowledge Graph, optical character recognition and speech-to-text technologies to search through scanned PDFs, images, handwritten notes, e-mails and audio files.


Reporters can search documents in Pinpoint, which will highlight those terms and synonyms.

The tool has already proven useful for investigative projects like USA TODAY’s report on 40,600 COVID-19-related deaths tied to nursing homes and Reveal’s look into the COVID-19 “testing disaster” in ICE detention centers, as well as a Washington Post piece about the opioid crisis. Pinpoint’s speed also helped reporters with shorter-term projects like Philippines-based Rappler’s examination of CIA reports from the 1970s and breaking news situations like the Mexico-based Verificado MX’s quick fact checking of the government’s daily pandemic updates.

Pinpoint is available now and reporters can sign up to request access now. The tool enables journalists to upload and analyze documents in seven languages: English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portugese and Spanish. To boost collaboration, we’ve also partnered with The Center for Public Integrity, Document Cloud, Stanford University’s Big Local News program and The Washington Post to create shared public collections that are available to all users. 

The second tool we’re launching is a beta preview of The Common Knowledge Project, a new way for journalists to explore, visualize and share data about important issues in their local communities. Reporters can create their own interactive charts from thousands of data points in minutes, embed them in stories and share them out on social media. 

Common Knowledge Project infographic

An example of a Common Knowledge Project data visualization comparing the number of people of certain ages in two different cities.

The Common Knowledge Project is built by Polygraph, an award-winning visual journalism team, and supported by the Google News Initiative. The data comes from Data Commons, which compiles and joins thousands of public datasets from organizations including theU.S. Census and the CDC. Currently, the tool includes U.S. data on issues like demographics, economy, housing, education, and crime. Have features you’d like to see? Let Polygraph know through the tool’s feedback form. 

If you’d like to learn more about how to use Pinpoint and The Common Knowledge Project, join us at one of our upcoming virtual events. The first is at the Online News Association’s conference on Thursday, October 15. Beginning the week of October 20, the Google News Initiative training also kicks off a six-part series focused on tools for reporters in seven different languages across nine regions. Sign up and join us for these online events to learn more. 

Quality journalism is critical to our societies. In launching these tools, we look forward to continuing to use the best of Google to support that important work. 

News Brief: September updates from the Google News Initiative

This month, we’re connecting virtually with members of the news industry through workshops and events to help drive digital growth and innovation. As students head back to school, we’re partnering with local organizations and educators to help young people separate fact from fiction online. We’re also working with our partners to develop new resources for local news. Read on for September updates.

Free online reader revenue workshops

Through the GNI Digital Growth Program, we’ll be running a series of workshops focused on reader revenue in Asia Pacific, North America, and Latin America throughout October and November. Sign ups are open now and workshops will be available in five languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese and Korean. 

Helping students to navigate information online in Latin America and Germany

We launched True/False, a site for young people to learn about misinformation through an interactive game. The project is carried out in collaboration with Red/Acción, SocioPúblico and UNICEF. The game allows students to learn how to identify fact from fiction online, and the site includes free classroom guides that teachers can use throughout Latin America.

In partnership with DIE ZEI in Germany, we launchedZEIT für Lehrer, a learning platform for educators to help students identify misinformation online. We also ran the first of its kindZeit für Lehrer Unconference, a virtual event with more than 200 educators. We tackled topics such as resilience, disinformation, cyber mobbing and a digital future of education.


News Impact Summits go virtual

October marks the start of this year’sNews Impact Summits, organized in partnership with theEuropean Journalism Centre. For the first time in its six-year history, the events will be moving online, but our core objective stays the same. We want to help build a community of international and local media professionals and offer an opportunity to meet, network, learn and get inspired by others. The three summits are free to access and will focus on Audience, Audio & Voice and Data Journalism. To register and learn more, visit newsimpact.co.  

Participants selected for the Asia Pacific Subscriptions Lab 

Eight publishers from Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan were selected to join the GNI APAC Subscriptions Lab. The Lab is developed in partnership with FTI Consulting and WAN-IFRA and draws on FTI Consulting’s expertise in helping global news publishers develop successful digital subscription businesses, and WAN-IFRA’s network of member news publishers.

Fostering innovation in Latin America

We selected 15 journalists from 13 digital native newsrooms and 11 countries to be part of the Innovation Workshop for Journalists in Latin America, offered by Mario Tascón and Fundación Gabo. The workshop focused on topics related to innovation, narrative, monetization and technology. Participants also engaged in a series of one-on-one mentoring sessions. 

Building a stronger future for publishers in Malaysia and Indonesia

We organized Think Media by Google in Malaysia, an event to help Malaysian news publishers familiarize themselves with Google tools, from News to Ads. We also featured our Google News Initiative work with Innovation Challenge recipient Malaysiakini. We also organized the third event in our Google for Media series in Indonesia, around the theme “Building an online audience,” showcasing our work with KG Media, Tempo Media Group and KapanLagi Youniverse, three of the biggest Indonesian media groups.

New resources to support local news 

Vox Media’s partnership with the GNI to launch Concert Local, an ad network that brings together a collection of trusted local news publishers for marketers, recently published research with Nielsen on “Why Supporting Local Journalism Is Good For Business.” The research underscores the opportunity for marketers and includes insights, such as local news sites providing an incremental audience reach of 38 percent versus national media properties. In addition, the study features data on how including local news sites as part of an ad campaign could significantly improve the performance of the campaign.

That’s all for September. Follow along on social for more updates.

Our $1 billion investment in partnerships with news publishers

One of the most enduring memories of my childhood is waiting for my father and grandfather to finish the paper over breakfast every morning so that I could get the latest headlines, especially in the sports section. To this day, my father still texts me whenever he sees something interesting in the news … which is a lot! I have always valued quality journalism and believed that a vibrant news industry is critical to a functioning democratic society. 

It’s equally important to Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Over the last several years, we’ve taken many steps to support the news industry, from sending 24 billion visits to news websites globally every month, to the Google News Initiative’s $300 million commitment, including emergency funding for local publishers globally to help with the impact of COVID-19 and our Digital Growth Program aimed at small and medium-sized publishers to accelerate their business growth.

But there is more to do. Today I’m proud to announce Google is building on our long-term support with an initial $1 billion investment in partnerships with news publishers and the future of news.

A new kind of news experience

This financial commitment—our biggest to date—will pay publishers to create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience. Google News Showcase is a new product that will benefit both publishers and readers: It features the editorial curation of award-winning newsrooms to give readers more insight on the stories that matter, and in the process, helps publishers develop deeper relationships with their audiences.

Google News Showcase

Google News Showcase will start rolling out in Germany and Brazil today and come to other countries over time

News Showcase is made up of story panels that will appear initially in Google News on Android. The product will launch soon on Google News on iOS, and will come to Google Discover and Search in the future. These panels give participating publishers the ability to package the stories that appear within Google’s news products, providing deeper storytelling and more context through features like timelines, bullets and related articles. Other components like video, audio and daily briefings will come next. 

This approach is distinct from our other news products because it leans on the editorial choices individual publishers make about which stories to show readers and how to present them. It will start rolling out today to readers in Brazil and Germany, and will expand to other countries in the coming months where local frameworks support these partnerships.

We’ve signed partnerships for News Showcase with nearly 200 leading publications across Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the U.K. and Australia. The publications include award-winning national titles likeDer Spiegel, Stern,Die Zeit, Folha de S.Paulo, Band and Infobaealongside regionally and locally significant publications such as El Litoral, GZH, WAZ and SooToday. The number of news publications will grow as we work to expand News Showcase to other countries including India, Belgium and the Netherlands.


We’ve signed partnerships for News Showcase with nearly 200 leading publications across Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the U.K. and Australia.

News Showcase builds on our existingnews licensing program, which is already paying publishers for quality journalism, and other news-related efforts like Subscribe with Google, Web Stories and audio news. And it will give readers more context and perspective on important stories in the news and drive high-value traffic to a publisher’s site.

Our long-term commitment

Both News Showcase and our financial investment—which will extend beyond the initial three years—are focused on contributing to the overall sustainability of our news partners around the world. 

The business model for newspapers—based on ads and subscription revenue—has been evolving for more than a century as audiences have turned to other sources for news, including radio, television and later, the proliferation of cable television and satellite radio. The internet has been the latest shift, and it certainly won’t be the last. Alongside other companies, governments and civic societies, we want to play our part by helping journalism in the 21st century not just survive, but thrive. 

Our GNI Fellows are defying the newsroom status quo

In March, just as I was finalizing the webpage for the Google News Initiative Fellowship program, much of the United States—and the world—went into lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Offices, including my own, closed and employees began working from home. Businesses shut their doors. Colleges sent students home to continue their studies virtually.

For students and recent graduates, a summer that was supposed to be spent taking classes, studying abroad or starting their first post-grad job turned into one of uncertainty. Many summer internships were deferred or altogether canceled due to the virus. Every industry has been impacted by the coronavirus, including the news media, which is vital in spreading important information about not only the pandemic, but also the upcoming election. 

For me, delaying the program was not an option, especially because a lack of newsroom diversity can negatively impact coverage of the pandemic and racial unrest. Though nothing can necessarily replace an in-person experience, we decided to add a remote option for the program, giving fellows the flexibility to work from home or the host newsroom if it is safe to do so. 

We received 476 applications for nine fellowship slots, which speaks to the unprecedented demand for these opportunities for aspiring journalists of color. 

“There can be no excellence without diversity — in local news especially, there’s a responsibility to speak to the issues and experiences of the (diverse) community you serve,” Ana Ta, who will be working at the Houston Press, told me. “My time working in local journalism has taught me to value my perspective as an Vietnamese Houstonian, and I’m excited and grateful for this opportunity with the GNI to tell the stories of my city.”

For Luis Méndez, who will be joining La Noticia, the fellowship is not just an opportunity for himself. “I want to be an example for boys and girls and show them that it doesn’t matter if you are from a small island called Puerto Rico, opportunities like these are possible with perseverance, passion and commitment,” he says.

Our selected Fellows all have different backgrounds and experiences, but two things they all have in common is the desire to help make American newsrooms look more like the audiences they cover and to tell the stories of communities that have been ignored for far too long.

“Ever since I was young, I’ve been passionate about pursuing journalism because I knew that it might grant me an opportunity to serve as a representative voice for communities and people who feel as if they don’t have one,” said Isthmusfellow Tamia Fowkles. “I  feel so honored and excited to participate in this program and I hope it will work to amplify and encourage diversity both in the news and writing it.”

To learn more about all of our 2020 Google News Initiative Fellows and follow their work, visit our Fellowship website.

The newspaper app helping Japan’s elderly population

Japan’s elderly citizens often live alone, and many have little regular contact with other people. That social isolation not only puts their health at risk, but also makes them more vulnerable during natural disasters, and to scams like fraud and extortion.

Regional newspaper Iwate Nippo wanted to do something to help elderly residents of Iwate (Japan’s second-largest prefecture) access life-saving services and help them feel more of a sense of belonging in their communities. With funding from the Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge, they developed Iwapon, an app created specifically for their older subscribers. 

The app’s safety features include a monitoring system that alerts family members if their relative hasn’t used their phone for more than 24 hours, information on suspicious calls or texts and a disaster information center to notify residents about threat levels and shelter locations during floods, storms, earthquakes and other severe weather. 

But Iwapon also fights social isolation in other ways—for example, by connecting residents to local businesses through virtual coupons, sharing local community and school updates, and giving them the chance to speak to an “on-demand” journalist about any concerns or questions they might have. 

To find out a bit more, we talked to Takuya Watanabe, manager of the digital media strategy division at Iwate Nippo.

How did the idea of Iwapon come to life?

As a local newspaper, we inform people about community problems like social isolation, and we also feel a responsibility to help address them. We already work closely with the police and local government. We regularly receive advance information about natural disasters, evacuation plans and details on fraud and suspicious behaviors to look out for. We thought an easy-to-use app would be a simple way that we could deliver this important information to people at risk, as quickly and accurately as possible.

  • Monitoring service explanation in Iwapon app

    An explanation of the app’s safety monitoring service for elderly citizens. 

  • Different functions of Iwapon app

    The app’s functions include a safety monitoring system, community news and the ability to use coupons with local retailers. 

  • Home screen of Iwapon app

    The app showcases local restaurants and shops that residents can use coupons with.  

  • Iwapon app home page showing Japanese rugby team

    The app’s home page (showing news about the Japanese rugby team), with options to click through to different functions. 

What has the reaction been to the app?

The app was downloaded thousands of times within only six months. But the impact went beyond that. Monthly new subscribers for the online newspaper increased by more than 50 percent, and local businesses have approached us to become sponsors. Most importantly, the atmosphere within the company has changed. The app has helped increase cooperation within the editorial, advertising and sales departments. It’s also had a huge positive impact on the motivation of younger employees. 

What’s next for Iwate Nippo and Iwapon?

The COVID-19 pandemic affected many local businesses. We are planning to support small- and medium-sized restaurants and shops in the area by promoting them in the app. After the pandemic, the challenges facing our region are changing day by day. Through the app, we will continue to work with the community, tackle local challenges and contribute to protecting the safety and lives of people in our prefecture. 

News Brief: August updates from the Google News Initiative

The Google News Initiative represents our efforts to build a more sustainable future for news. As we look forward, we’re investing in new technologies to help newsrooms tell their stories online, as well as asking questions about how newsrooms can better reflect the communities they cover. This month, we’re also learning from publishers who have successfully grown their audiences and business despite the challenges of this year. Read on for August updates.

Helping students strengthen media literacy skills in Latin America

We launched “DigiMente,” a media literacy program led by Movilizatorio and Teach for All for students in Spanish-speaking Latin America. The program will allow students to strengthen their skills in critical thinking, reflection, interpretation, communication and decision-making when navigating content online. During the first stage of the project, the program will train 12-to-17-year-old students from underserved communities in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico how to consume and create quality content by understanding different sources of information. After developing the final curriculum, the program will be available through an online education platform for schools and teachers throughout the region.

Who gets to tell Australian stories?

We partnered with Media Diversity Australia to release a landmark report on diversity in Australia’s broadcast news. Who Gets To Tell Australian Stories? analyzed 81 news programs over two weeks in June 2019, equal to about 19,000 news items. The report found that almost 76 percent of those on Australian screens were found to have an Anglo-Celtic background, while just six percent were from Indigenous or non-European backgrounds.

Supporting video news content on YouTube

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) announced the recipients of the $1 million in funding they received from YouTube through the Google News Initiative. This funding will support 22 projects from 12 countries across four continents. Projects will focus on video, formats to reach new audiences and new ways to speed up the fact-checking process.

In Indonesia, we hosted the second Google for Media virtual event, the theme of which was News on YouTube. Presenters shared tips on what strategy news companies should implement to reach an audience on YouTube, and specifically how best to create compelling video content for the next generation.

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Andy Budiman, CEO of KG Media

Embracing digital transformation in Indonesia 

There’s more to share out of Indonesia, too. Driven by data and machine learning, the digital era has introduced both uncertainty and opportunity for publishers looking to develop new capabilities. We spoke with Andy Budiman, CEO of KG Media (a member of Kompas Gramedia Group), to learn how one of Indonesia’s leading media companies is embracing a dual digital transformation approach to stay competitive for the future.

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Panelists from a series of online seminars created in partnership with the Gabo Foundation

Fostering innovation in journalism 

More than 4,000 journalists from 37 countries participated in a series of online seminars, created in partnership with the Gabo Foundation. Topics included monetization and the future of news, and managing innovation within the newsroom. The series also included a master workshop on innovation with panelists from all over Latin America. In addition, the Gabo Foundation will be publishing selected projects to promote journalistic innovation in Latin America.

Growing engagement through the GNI Audience Lab

The GNI Audience Lab is a multi-month program run in partnership with News Revenue Hub to help news organizations grow their loyal audiences and find new ways to increase advertising and consumer revenue. Upon completion, participating publishers experienced a 121 percent average increase in monthly active users, a 30 percent average increase in newsletter subscribers and a 152 percent increase in monthly organic search referrals. The team from Bridge Michigan shared their best practices through a case study after experiencing a large spike in readership through the Lab.    

Supporting diverse nonprofit newsrooms through sponsorship opportunities

The Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) announced eight publishers selected for the IGNITE Sponsorship pilot program, which aims to enable a cohort of diverse nonprofit newsrooms to increase earned revenue from sponsorship opportunities. INN will generate a list of lessons learned from the program to share with its network of 300 nonprofit news organizations, adding to INN’s recently published case studies on member newsrooms leading the way in earned revenue: The San Antonio Report and Madison365

That’s a wrap for August. Follow along on social (@GoogleNewsInit) and subscribe to the GNI newsletter for more updates.

Google teams up with news publishers on a new product

In late June, we launched a licensing program to pay for quality content from publishers for an upcoming news experience. The goal of this project is to create something that gives readers more context and journalistic perspective on news stories as well as helps publishers’ distinct editorial voices shine through. Today, we wanted to update you on how we’re working alongside our publisher partners to achieve this.

This licensing program and upcoming product both build on our broader commitment to support the news industry in its drive towards a more sustainable future. And as we expand licensing to more publishers in more countries, we’re also working closely with 10 different news outlets from Germany and Brazil on an early access program,  testing features and gathering feedback to shape the product direction ahead of full launch later this year. Publishers taking part in this early access program including international brands as well as local household staples like ZEIT ONLINE, Der Spiegel, Tagesspiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Ippen Media Group  and Rheinische Post in Germany and Estado de Minas,  A Gazeta, Correio Braziliense and UOL in Brazil. These partners are helping us test features and gather feedback ahead of a full launch later this year. 

At Google, we know the best products are built when a diversity of knowledge, insight and expertise are brought into the mix, and this early access program is a major phase in our progress. Participating publishers are testing publisher tools, evaluating technical integrations and ensuring different templates enhance the ways they bring stories to their readers.  We’re also discussing paywall integrations, where Google would pay for free access to allow readers to read articles on a publisher’s site. This will help paywalled publishers grow their audience and deepen their relationship with readers.

But the success of this product will rest on how good the experience is for readers, so bringing in experts from the news industry to understand their insights and hear their feedback is critical. That’s particularly appealing for Sebastian Horn, Deputy Editor of ZEIT ONLINE, one of Germany’s leading publishers and one of our partners. “Collaborating with Google on this new project allows us to bring the best of ZEIT ONLINE’s journalism to new audiences across Google’s products and to do what our readers trust us to do best–provide them with the most relevant news and the best in-depth analysis on current topics.“ 

We also want to make sure readers know who is behind the news and find publications they respect. That’s why we’re making sure this  product strongly reflects the publishers’ brand, while still creating a cohesive news experience. 

“This new collaboration opportunity adds further value to the essence of our mission, which is to forge a very close bond with our community through quality journalism and a first rate product experience,” says Aglisson Lopes, the Performance Editor forA Gazeta, one of Brazil’s leading local and regional publications. “We are a regional publisher that strives to be at the leading edge of digital trends and our continuing work with Google leads the way in getting us closer to this goal.”

Google has long been invested in supporting news businesses and we believe the work we do through the Google News Initiative alongside the traffic from News and Search–24 billion visits a month–are hugely valuable. Our licensing program also plays a major role, and we will be announcing new partners in additional countries in the coming weeks. 

As we get closer to a public launch, we’re especially grateful to these initial partners for working together to build a product that enables people to become more informed and provides additional financial support for news publishers. 

A new global COVID-19 map for journalists

As reporters continue to try to make sense of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects around the world, visualizing data can help make reporting clearer for readers. Until today, finding statistically valid maps that can display the status wherever you are in the world has been difficult to do.

Today, Stanford University’s Big Local News and Pitch Interactive—with support from the Google News Initiative— have launched the COVID-19 Global Case Mapper, which makes it possible for journalists anywhere in the world to embed up-to-date visualizations of the pandemic on their sites for readers.

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Screenshot of the new global map

Earlier this year the team launched a U.S. version of the map. This new version expands that embeddable view across the globe through data for 176 countries in addition to the United States, plus additional state and regional data for 18 countries. The team has used Google Translate so the experience can be viewed in more than 80 languages.

The data is from the New York Times’ open COVID-19 county dataset and the COVID-19 Data Repository by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University and is updated daily.

This is part of a partnership to launch a global data resource for reporters working on  stories about COVID-19. In partnership with the Google News Initiative, the JSK Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University and the Big Local News group will aggregate data from around the world and help journalists tell data-driven stories that  showcase local information.

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Unlike other coronavirus case maps, the Case Mapper project allows local reporters to embed a map of their area or even a national case map. The map shows cases in relation to population. It’s colored by numbers of cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days and shows you the severity of outbreak by the number of people in each location, making it easier to compare where you live to the world as a whole.

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Since its launch in April, the map has been embedded on thousands of news sites across the United States, such as Type Investigations, a nonprofit organization supporting investigative journalism, and Bay City News, a local news service for journalism organizations across the San Francisco Bay Area which maintains a COVID-19 Information Hub.

More in-depth, country-level data will be added over time as the map is developed further and as journalists around the world use it to explain how the pandemic has spread. Even a global pandemic can seem abstract until you can see how it has spread. These maps help reporters anywhere to do just that.

News Brief: July updates from the Google News Initiative

As newsrooms face steep advertising declines during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re focusing on programs to help grow revenue for news organizations. As the nature of working continues to change, publishers are investing in digital growth and sharing their findings with the news industry through virtual events. Read on for July updates from the Google News Initiative.  

The GNI Subscriptions Lab expands globally

The GNI Subscriptions Lab helps news organizations grow direct reader revenue. The program is expanding to Asia Pacific for the first time, and will be running in the region through a partnership with WAN-IFRA and FTI Consulting. Applications are open until August 14th, 2020. 

We also shared initial takeaways from the discovery phase of the GNI Subscriptions Lab in Europe with INMA and their members. These include three early industry findings about how publishers can align their reader revenue strategies around core business goals.

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Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, Director General of Aptika KemKominfo RI, presenting for Google for Media in Indonesia

Indonesian publishers share program lessons with local news community

In Indonesia, we started a six-month informational series called Google for Media, in which publishers share lessons from their participation in GNI programs with the broader local news community. During the first event, Innovation in the Newsroom, presenters discussed leading through innovation, building and monetizing an online presence and applying design thinking to newsrooms.

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Apply for the new round of the Google Podcasts creator program

New resources for podcast creators

We launched a training course to help podcast creators learn how to use our new analytics tool, Google Podcasts Manager. The tool helps podcasters get to know their audience better and reach new listeners across Google. We also announced a new round of applications for this year’s Google Podcasts creator program. Created in partnership with PRX, the creator program seeks to elevate underrepresented voices in podcasting by providing free training, equipment and funding. This year, the program will train producers with an existing show who want to take their podcast to the next level. BIPOC podcasters and creators from traditionally marginalized groups are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is August 9 — learn more and apply today.

Virtual News Impact Summits for European publishers

Organized in partnership with the European Journalism Centre, this year’s News Impact Summits will explore the intersection between journalism, technology and innovation. There will be three Summits throughout October and November of this year, focused on audience, audio and voice and data journalism. For this first time in six years, the summits will move online and will be live-streamed to make sure you can join the discussion wherever you are. Registrations are now open for all three events.

That’s all for July. Keep in touch on Twitter and sign up for more updates through the Google News Initiative newsletter.