In what is being hailed a ‘watershed moment’ for independent news, Stroud Times will feature on Google News Showcase thanks to a partnership between Google and the independent community news sector via Ping News.
Stroud Times and 44 members of the Independent Community News Network (ICNN) have signed up for the Google News Showcase to better connect with audiences and strengthen their offering.
The deal between Google and Ping News, ICNN’s public interest news gateway, is one-of-a-kind for independent publishers in the UK. So far the majority of organisations that have partnered with Google on the Showcase project have been traditional news publishers, with Stroud Times now one of less than 300 publishers nationwide featured on the platform.
Stroud Times editor, Ash Loveridge said: “To be a partner of global tech giant Google is incredible for us as an independent news outlet. This underpins the value of decent community interest stories which are devoid of clickbait and negative news.
“Our web figures are increasing year-on-year and this will only help drive up our audience growth and make our brand an attractive option for advertisers.”
Deputy Director of ICNN, Matt Abbott 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.”
He added: “Additionally, Google’s support of the Ping! platform – the Public Interest News Gateway – means regional and national publishers will soon be able to access rich multimedia content from every region of the UK on demand, from hundreds of professional independent community journalists.”
Ping! developed and built in partnership with Bristol-based web app development company Omni Digital, is due to launch in May.
Vice President of Google and Managing Director of Google UK & Ireland, Debbie Weinstein 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, a new public interest news gateway set up by the team at ICNN.”