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Google News Initiative puts $300 million toward saving online journalism


Google is also launching a feature called Subscribe with Google, described as "a way for people to easily subscribe to various news outlets, helping publishers engage readers across Google and the Web".

The name recalls Google's Digital News Initiative, through which the company gives out €150 million ($164 million) over three years to "help stimulate innovation in digital journalism" among European publishers. "It's becoming increasingly hard to distinguish what's true (and not true) online". With this move, Google also has a chance to rival Amazon, which remains by far the most formidable online shopping platform in the United States.

Once subscribed, readers will see a dedicated section in Google search - when searching a news topic - that shows them all relevant results from publications they are signed up to.

Amid ongoing questions about the role of digital platforms in elections, and in light of accusations that millions of Facebook users had their data harvested for political reasons, Google is tackling the spread of misinformation during elections by teaming up with fact-checking organisation First Draft.

"Google has been the most responsive of the major platforms in terms of listening, trying to understand what we need, and changing their business rules", Thompson said.

The commitments we're making through the Google News Initiative demonstrate that news and quality journalism is a top priority for Google.

Google's relationship with the news industry was occasionally contentious due to policies like "first click free" that could circumvent paywalls.

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Subscribe with Google lets you buy a subscription, using your Google account, on participating news sites.

It's also why over the years, we've worked closely with the news industry to address key challenges. Launch partners in some of the programs include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Telegraph and the Financial Times.

Google has been previously viewed as an enemy to the industry, but publishers are warming to the tech platform with Fairfax even inking a deal with Google previous year.

At the same time, Google is working with news organizations to combat misinformation.

One of the other Google features in fighting disinformation will be a US$10m campaign to support global digital information literacy.

Google also announced Outline, an open-source tool which allows news organizations to set a up a corporate virtual private network (VPN) on their own server to safely connect to the internet and keep their communication private.

"A lot of the solutions with come from the journalism industry and the tech industry working together", Ramirez said in the YouTube video.

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