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Google Introduces Google News Initiative for News Entrepreneurs

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A new Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Lab initiative for budding news entrepreneurs from throughout India has been unveiled by Google.

GNI Startups Lab is a four-month program that provides rigorous coaching, skills training, and other support to help independent local or single-subject journalism organizations discover a route to financial and operational viability.

The Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Lab India is now accepting applications starting October 18, 2021, with ten independent digital news producers selected for the first cohort in India.

The program, which was developed in collaboration with Echos, a global innovation lab, and the DIGIPUB News India Foundation, intends to encourage high-quality reporting for underserved communities in India. It would consider submissions from news organizations that publish in all Indian languages.

In May, it expanded its licensing program to support news organizations and users in India, adding support for four new Indian languages in Google News Showcase, its online experience.

"The 16-week program is geared to the needs of startup newsrooms in India. Participants will benefit from Echos' experience in aiding media startups, as well as DIGIPUB's network and community through seminars and coaching”, wrote Google.

Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu are the four new languages. These are in addition to the English and Hindi languages that are supported in Google News and Discover's specialized News Showcase panels.

With the inclusion of these new languages and partners, the internet giant now has over 50 partners representing over 70 publications, according to the company.

Few weeks ago, the tech giant in collaboration with Indian comic book publisher Amar Chitra Katha, launched its global 'Be Internet Awesome' campaign for youngsters in India, which interweaves vital internet safety messages across eight Indian languages. As part of its attempts to improve internet user safety, the tech giant has also established a newly updated Google Safety Centre in eight Indian languages.

Digipub is ecstatic to collaborate with Google News Initiative Startups Lab to ensure the digital media ecosystem's long-term viability and resilience. Digital news media is the future of news in India, and collaborations like these will ensure that new entrants receive the support they deserve”, states Dhanya Rajendran, Chairperson, Digipub News India Foundation.

"The 16-week program is geared to the needs of startup newsrooms in India. Participants will benefit from Echos' experience in aiding media startups, as well as DIGIPUB's network and community through seminars and coaching”, wrote Google.

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