Inside Croydon in ‘watershed’ news sites deal with Google

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.

First with our news: Google has teamed up with Inside Croydon to deliver local news to more readers

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.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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10 Responses to Inside Croydon in ‘watershed’ news sites deal with Google

  1. ExCroydonian says:

    Not bad going for what the council CEO regularly refers to as a “local community blogger”
    Great work Steven much deserved. Long may it continue

  2. peterleni says:

    Great news for Inside Croydon and other independent news providers. Well done Steve, richly deserved for all your hard work and great reporting.

  3. Sarah Bird says:

    Congratulations and very well deserved . Long over due but certainly justified . IC is journalism at its very best. IC is the only opposition in Croydon and at least seeks to hold the council and its well paid officers to account. So they should all be .

  4. James Seabrook says:

    Very well done to Inside Croydon, and thank you. You are unflinching in your unbiased reporting and what’s so great is that you include community events which means, hopefully, that they will also be promoted.

    Regarding your reporting, the laying bare in public of goings-on of corrupt councils and the associated government and it’s long tentacles is immensely valuable for those not really in the know, so keep up the good work.

  5. Liz Coffey says:

    Excellent news and well deserved recognition. Thank you all at IC for the open honest reporting and never flinching from the truth.

  6. Jim Bush says:

    “Trebles all round”, as they say in Rotten Boroughs in Private Eye !

  7. Ian Kierans says:

    Hard graft does achieve good rewards. Well done and may the successes continue.

  8. Good news. Google has profited (profiteered?) from news sites for too long, so while this is welcome it’s a partial redress. BTW, before this I’ve noticed that IC comes up much more highly in ‘Croydon’ searches, showing that more and more people are turning to your esteemed organ

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