RNZ among media to strike news content deal with Google

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A handful of major media outlets have struck a deal with tech heavyweight Google to provide news.

RNZ will contribute news stories to Google News Showcase which is launching today.
Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Google is launching its News Showcase in New Zealand today. RNZ, NZME and its various divisions, Scoop and Writingare the first partners and contributors.

The storefront was rolled out globally in response to longstanding complaints that Google had profited from streaming media content without payment.

Google’s country director for New Zealand, Caroline Rainsford, said the licensing system showed support for digital transformation and journalism.

“It really reconfirms what has been a long-standing commitment to investing in the New Zealand news ecosystem.

“We see a very important shared responsibility in ensuring the long-term sustainability of public interest journalism in New Zealand,” Rainsford said.

She declined to elaborate on the financial and business aspects of the deal and did not admit government pressure was a factor in reaching a media deal.

“We have had continuous, positive and constructive exchanges with the previous and current minister.”

NZME, which publishes a series of articles, including the New Zealand Heraldand also has Newstalk ZB and other radios, and the specialist online professional editor, business officestruck a deal with Google in June after breaking away from a broad industry coalition seeking a deal.

A composite image of the NZME and Google desktop panels.

NZME and Google reached an agreement in June.
Photo: RNZ/123RF

Other News Showcase editors are Central Otago News outlet Nodeand Pacific Media Network News.

Notably, the deal does not include Stuff, publisher of the Dominion Post and The press and a host of other metropolitan and regional titles, which remained with the group led by the Association of News Publishers.

Rainsford said talks with the industry group are continuing.

Google would also pay for participating news outlets to give readers access to some of their paid content.

“This feature means readers will have the opportunity to read more of a publisher’s articles than they otherwise could, encouraging them to learn more about the publication – and possibly subscribe.”

Participating media will monitor stories posted on the platform, but Rainsford said Google’s normal content standards and systems would also apply.

RNZ’s acting chief content officer, Megan Whelan, said the deal would extend the reach of the public broadcaster.

“This new agreement is another way to ensure content from trusted public media is available to more people through Google News.”

business office credited its Google links with allowing it to quadruple the number of journalists employed.

Google also plans to roll out a range of other initiatives, including training journalists, advising on digital news fundamentals, election politics and tracking misinformation.

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