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The digital age of journalism

As journalism begins to adapt to the digital age, Google promotes this shift with innovative programs and scholarships for large businesses and students alike.

As the journalism industry becomes more digitized and journalists grapple with how to use the Internet to reach their target audience, Google has started to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive digitally. In March, the company launched  The Google News Initiative, a three-year, $300 million initiative to teach journalists how to utilize their products (such as Google Trends) and give funding to various news organizations that are digitizing.

In July, the Google News Initiative announced the availability of innovation funding, aiming to help news organizations strengthen their online video capabilities. In December, it announced that 312 organizations had submitted proposals, but only 87 news projects from 23 countries would be the recipients of the funding. In the United States, 23 different news organizations received funding such as Buzzfeed News, The New York Times, ProPublic and Vox.

Aside from innovation funding, the Google News Initiative has participated in several projects with news organizations, such as MediaWise. This undertaking is the result of a $3 million partnership with the Poynter Institute, a journalism school located in Saint Petersburg, Florida. According to the Google News Initiative Twitter account, this is a non-profit project that is “helping one million teens get media savvy and root out misinformation.” According to Poynter, it is not only teaching middle and high school students fact-checking skills that professional journalists use to figure out what is real and what is not, but of the one million teens they are helping, half of them come from underprivileged areas. This project is already having an impact on teenagers, as it resulted in the launch of another project called the MediaWise Teen Fact-Checking Network. A group of 24 students across the country, ranging from 15 to 24 years old, will create their own-fact checking videos on social media platforms.

The training center offers a range of different sessions, depending on the consumer’s area of focus: journalist, student, publisher, editor or general. There are over 40 lessons offered on Google products and tools, helping journalists learn how to utilize Google products and be more digitally savvy. Different topics include learning how to search, seeing where stories happen by building interactive maps, garnering and maintaining a YouTube audience and exploring public data. For example, with Google Trends, journalists are offered anonymized search data so that they can derive insights into user’s interests in news events and key topics.

“The Google Journalism Institute allows people to explore the field of their interest. On a global scale, journalism is the foundation of democracy. We need to stay informed, it’s what’s essential to our society.” senior Anna de la O said.“That’s why I’m happy that Google is encouraging the right to the freedom of our information and contributing the awareness of information in a society that is so often cloaked in misinformation with this program.”

A fellowship is offered every year for students pursuing a degree in journalism and technology. The recipients are offered the opportunity to spend ten weeks out of the summer working at renowned organizations across the country. Each fellow receives a stipend of $9,000 and a travel budget of $1,000.

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