Google has announced what has been described as “a watershed moment for the industry” with a partnership with the Independent Community News Network, including founder member Inside Croydon.
Under the deal, Inside Croydon and another 44 hyperlocal publications will be showcased on the tech giant’s news aggregator – and Google will be paying for the content provided.
The Google News Showcase has so far mainly benefited bigger publishers. Google already features Inside Croydon on its aggregator page, but without paying for the use of the content. Inside Croydon did receive a generous and vital grant from Google in 2020, to assist with our coverage of the covid pandemic.
However, now ICNN has negotiated a deal with Google which provides 45 independent titles, including iC, with a new source of income.
“The deal is one-of-a-kind for independent publishers in the UK,” according to an ICNN statement.
“So far the majority of organisations that have partnered with Google on the Showcase project have been traditional news publishers.
“With the upcoming launch of our public interest news gateway, Ping News, ICNN has sought to create new revenue streams for the independent sector.
“This partnership with Google does just that. Publishers now have access to new ways to reach their audiences, grow their readership and generate additional income.”
Matt Abbott, the deputy director of ICNN, which is based at Cardiff University, said, “This is game-changing for independent journalism in the UK and we are delighted to expand our relationship with Google to bring this partnership together.
“Google News Showcase is an extremely important initiative that highlights the value of local news.
“By partnering with Ping News, Google is not only helping the independent sector become more sustainable but is acknowledging the enormous contribution hyperlocal journalism makes to public interest news in the UK.”
Commenting on the new deal, Debbie Weinstein, vice-president of Google and managing director of Google UK and Ireland, said: “In uncertain times, having easy access to reliable information through trusted sources on the internet is more important than ever.
“That’s why for more than two decades we’ve focused on connecting people with facts and journalism they can trust.
“Today, we’re excited to extend Showcase licensing deals to 45 smaller independent news titles thanks to a partnership with Ping News.”
Steven Downes, who founded Inside Croydon 13 years ago, today thanked Abbott and his colleagues at ICNN for their hard work over many months to seal the Google deal and create the Ping platform. “This really is a welcome and important step forward,” Downes said.
“The collaboration and co-operation between dozens of independent publishers, including many experienced and accomplished journalists, can help to deliver some of the scrutiny and detailed reporting which all our communities need and deserve.”
The Google deal will not alter or affect Inside Croydon’s robustly independent news-breaking coverage of events in this part of sarf London, which will continue to provide a service to our loyal reader as we have since 2010. But it will provide important income, as iC’s unique take on local events will be aggregated with mainstream media.
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- ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named among the country’s rottenest boroughs for a SIXTH successive year in 2022 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine