Announcing the second cohort of GNI Startups Lab and a look back at 2023

Countering misinformation:

Continuing our firm commitment to support the news industry in tackling the scourge of misinformation, we partnered with subject matter experts to empower journalists and newsrooms with digital tools and skills needed to find, verify, and tell engaging stories while tackling the ever-evolving risk of misinformation.

Through 2023, via efforts like the GNI India Training Network and Data Dialogue, we supported the training of 15,000+ journalists and journalism students in 15+ languages, impacting 240+ newsrooms and media colleges.

Listing below, some key training programs concluded in 2023:

  • PollCheck Election Academy: PollCheck 2023 was the 4th edition of our annual training series that equips journalists covering elections in India with digital tools and skills they need for news gathering, reporting and verification. Over 1000 journalists participated in the effort that included 5 full-day PollCheck Election days in poll-bound states of Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram, and two in-person PollCheck Accelerator workshops in Delhi.
  • Data Journalism Accelerator: As part of our commitment to help journalists in India strengthen their data journalism skills and tackle data-related misinformation in a key election year, the Google News Initiative, in partnership with How India Lives, launched Data Journalism Acceleratora 6-month training and fellowship program that provided in-depth training and weekly mentoring support to a select cohort of 20 newsrooms/fellows to help them do more data-driven stories. Participating newsrooms included the Hindustan Times, the Times of India, The News Minute, News Laundry, Indian Express, Mooknayak among others.
  • Countering gender misinformation with ‘InQlusive newsrooms’: Earlier in 2023, we supported The News Minute to launch ‘InQlusive Newsrooms’ – a project that aims to strengthen and promote best practices of covering LGBTQIA+ issues. With GNI’s support, the team is building a 20-chapter media reference guide in English and 5 Indian languages that is being distributed to newsrooms, colleges, journalists and associations to help them learn why and how to report better on LGBTQIA+ community.

This effort is also supporting 6 regional workshops for editors, reporters and journalists in 3 languages, and an InQlusive Newsrooms media fellowship that will onboard 12 journalists as fellows and mentor them to do stories of their choice.

Additionally, Google also invested in ecosystem enablement through product interventions like the launch of new features in Fact Check Explorer and support of organisations leading the charter to curb misinformation via the Global Fact Check Fund, a $13M grant to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) to support fact-checkers around the world with an aim to strengthen and develop the operational, production and engagement capacities of local and regional media organizations to increase the quality, volume, frequency, scale and impact of fact checking abilities and activities.

We also supported media literacy efforts like FactShala and Sach Ke Saathi that are helping vulnerable communities learn the critical thinking skills required to sift facts from fake, and are experimenting with new ways to fight misinformation.

The last few years have cast in sharp relief, the crucial role that reliable information plays in all our lives. The news industry, with their investments in news gathering and strong foundational commitment to news integrity are more important than ever. Google remains committed to supporting this mission not only through our existing products and Google News Initiative programs, but also through our partnerships with the industry to unlock greater possibilities in the future.

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