During the Google for Brazil event in São Paulo, the company Tuesday launched an initiative against misinformation while adding sustainability to the work of reporters and their professional training.
The first project of the series represents the continuity of a five-year work done together with the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji). Created in 2018, Comprova is one of the largest fact-checking initiatives in the country. In all, there are 41 vehicles and more than a thousand reports have already been produced. For 2023, the program will focus on the public policies of the federal government.
Also against fake news, Google will launch the Innovation Fund and Fight against Disinformation. The initiative will select projects aimed at verifying online content through the development of digital tools. The project is aimed at journalists, news organizations, and researchers, and does not yet have an opening date for applications.
Also announced was Startup Labs, a program reaching its third edition in 2023. A pioneering project in Brazil for accelerating journalism companies, it stimulates the growth and sustainability of emerging online news companies.
I have great affection for this project, as I coordinated the first two editions, said Fabiana Zanni, head of Google News Partnerships in Latin America. The goal is simple: to implement a business methodology for journalism, showing that it is possible to develop new products and achieve success in the digital world, she added.
In all, 12 startups in the early stages with innovative projects in journalism will be selected. The participants will have 8 weeks of mentoring and training, addressing key points for business development.
In partnership with FT Strategies, the consulting arm of the Financial Times, Google has created the Journalistic Sustainability Diagnosis in Brazil. The tool is free and fully online. The idea is that journalistic companies of all sizes provide data and information to the platform, which will return a detailed diagnosis to improve their efficiency and development.
Google also announced the Digital Transformation Labs, aimed at updating and qualifying journalists. The initiative will attend members of the major news associations in Brazil, such as the National Association of Newspapers (ANJ), the Digital Journalism Association (Ajor), and the Brazilian Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters (ABERT).
In all, there will be 300 hours of training and consulting, divided among 9 laboratories, which will address topics such as audience growth and financial sustainability. The program is free of charge and will attend up to 250 small and medium-sized outlets.
Meanwhile, the Google News Initiative Journalist Training Network will train 10,000 journalists with a focus on black professionals and socially vulnerable communities to work in the digital environment. The program will reach 300 newsrooms by 2023. After the training, the professionals will guide news organizations, collectives, events, and associations to overcome online challenges, it was explained.