Google News Initiative Commits $6.5 Million To Support Fact Checkers, Nonprofits

To quell the spread of misinformation during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Google News Initiative (GNI) has pledged $6.5 million to a range of fact-checking efforts and nonprofits.

The funds are distributed according to issues the GNI considers most critical, including a blanket support of fact-checking projects, an increase in access to data and other primary sources, and an increase in access to insights.

“Health authorities have warned that an overabundance of information can make it harder for people to obtain reliable guidance about the coronavirus pandemic,” Alexios Mantzarlis, news and information credibility lead for Google News Labs, wrote in a blog post.

“Helping the world make sense of this information requires a broad response, involving scientists, journalists, public figures, technology platforms and many others.”

The outreach support spans the globe, operating in various countries, including  India, Nigeria, the U.S., Europe and Australia.



Among those organizations receiving support are First Draft, which is currently supported by the GNI. That financial investment will deepen as First Draft continues to provide training and crisis simulations for reporters covering COVID-19 and makes its CrossCheck network available to newsrooms.

The JSK Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University, in collaboration with Stanford’s Big Local News group, will also receive support as they create a global data resource for reporters covering COVID-19. The goal is to collate global data to support data-driven stories reported by journalists.

Mantzarlis also announced Google Trends has been made available via localized pages and includes embeddable visualizations.

A complete list of supported projects is available through GNI

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