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Google partners with Columbia Journalism School for leadership programme in APAC

Google News Initiative

Google has forged a partnership with the Columbia School of Journalism for newsroom leadership program for journalists in Asia.

The move was announced by Irene Jay Liu, Google’s News Lab lead for APAC who said it wants to help young journalists “understand the business of news”.

“Not so long ago, journalists had the luxury of focusing on filling the next day’s paper, radio segment or television broadcast, without needing to think about business models, subscriptions, publishing tools and technology,” she said.

“Today’s newsroom leaders need to understand the business of news in order to be stewards of great journalism. Everyone must also think like a publisher.”

The program includes four weeks of onsite courses at Columbia University in New York and Google offices in Silicon Valley and Asia. It is aimed at mid-career journalists who have the potential to take on larger roles and run their organizations.

Each Fellow will also work on a specific project during the year that is relevant to their newsroom across three topics: technology, monetization, and data.

The tech giant has been investing heavily in its News initiatives in Asia Pacific. Last year it launched an Innovation Challenge aimed at strengthening business models in news organizations across the region. In the end, Google chose 23 projects in 14 countries to provide support with a total investment of $3.2m.

Meanwhile, in India, it launched a Training Network to help 8000 journalists “fight the tide” of fake news.

However, it has also been battling regulators in the region. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched an inquiry last year into digital platforms and the impact they have on publishers in the digital supply chain.

In a submission to the inquiry, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp called for regulators to break up Google, saying it is abusing its market dominance in search to benefit its ad business.

“Google has become an ‘unavoidable trading partner’ for consumers, media content providers and advertisers alike," it said, claiming Google’s “anti-competitive” behavior threatens the sustainability of news and journalism, undermining the “virtuous cycle” of publisher’s subscription and advertising revenue.