Journalists under pressure as press freedom erodes: Google
Posted: Posted Date – 1:25 PM, Mon – 30 May 22
New Delhi: Google sees increasing pressure on journalists and the erosion of press freedom not just in Asia, but around the world.
According to Irene Jay Liu, who runs Google News Lab, which is part of the Google News Initiative (GNI), despite this, there is a strong sense of mission and purpose that the work needs to be done.
“What has always amazed me is the willingness of newsrooms here to collaborate with Google, and each other, to solve problems and innovate. There’s this agility that’s really inspiring,” Liu said in a Google blog post with David Zuckerman, Content, Google News Initiative.
A veteran political, investigative and data journalist, she was a 2017 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting as part of the Reuters team that documented widespread cheating in US college admissions.
Now, with News Lab, Irene promotes innovation and the use of technology in newsrooms.
According to her, grassroots journalists can see the connection between freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the stability of their democracies and societies, “because they remember a time when things were very, very different”.
“They saw the threat of misinformation and how it can be a matter of life and death, especially during the pandemic. So there’s this visceral need to make it work, a feeling that “we have no choice, we have to figure it out as an industry.” Otherwise, the trajectory of history may change very quickly,” Liu pointed out.
Disinformation is a major concern almost everywhere in the region, and journalists feel it is their cross to bear.
“What’s interesting in Asia is that you have people logging on for the first time, so there’s an opportunity to build awareness and resistance to misinformation from the start,” Liu noted. .
In India, Google has piloted this approach through FactShala, which teaches news and information literacy to new internet users.
Factshala partners with trusted sources, civil society organizations, non-profit organizations, community workers, educators, journalists, to spread the word in multiple languages.
“As long as we listen to the journalist community and respond to their needs, we can accomplish a lot together,” Liu said.