Google News Initiative has launched a number of live newsroom experiments in Australia and New Zealand to “support innovation and trusted journalism”. Three news organisations—Nine Publishing, the National Indigenous Times, and BusinessDesk New Zealand—will launch live pilots in their newsrooms with the aim of driving business growth and editorial excellence.
These experiments will trial frameworks on how to prioritise, design, run and review editorial content with the hope of nudging newsrooms to go beyond their comfort zones. Areas that will be identified across their operations include storytelling, resourcing, workflows, platforms, data, and technology.
At the end of the experiment, results will be shared with the broader industry. Content and digital agency Bastion Transform, led by former ABC News director Gaven Morris, will corrdinate the projects over the coming six months, as well as measure the outcomes and industry impact.
Nine Publishing’s executive editor Tory Maguire said the pandemic has been a major turning point for the industry.
“There's been a big shift in the way our audiences consume news, and the types of stories they're demanding,” she said. “If anyone has perfected the response to this, I'm yet to find out about it. I want to try things our newsroom has never ventured to do; across content and the way we operate. This is a high-return, low-risk project. Even if one of the experiments comes off, it’s a success."
“If we’re only exploring areas we already know will succeed, we’re not being ambitious,” said Google News Lab ANZ lead Uma Patel. “If we don’t fail at some points along the way, we’re not taking enough risks.”