Google Australia launches newsroom experiments with Bastion Transform

Google News Initiative has partnered with Bastion Transform, led by former ABC News director Gaven Morris, for a series of newsroom experiments trialling journalism innovations.

Three news organisations – Nine Publishing, the National Indigenous Times and BusinessDesk New Zealand, owned by New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) – will launch live pilots in their newsrooms and share results with the industry.

The experimentation will focus on challenges and opportunities these newsrooms identify across their operations including storytelling, resourcing, workflows, platforms, data, and technology.

Bastion Transform will coordinate the projects in the next six months, and measure the outcomes and industry impact.

Morris said: “Newsroom innovation is more important than ever and finding the time and resources for journalism teams to step outside of daily coverage to shape, test and learn new ways of connecting with audiences is a struggle.”

“This project enables editors and journalists to raise their sights beyond their deadlines and explore long-term change. It’s essential – it’s do or die.”

Google News Lab ANZ lead, Uma Pate, said: “We want to create a framework for how to prioritise, design, run and review experiments and hopefully nudge newsrooms to go beyond their comfort zones.”

“If we’re only exploring areas we already know will succeed, we’re not being ambitious. If we don’t fail at some points along the way, we’re not taking enough risks.”

The National Indigenous Times is an independent First Nations-owned digital news publication, both online and printed.

Earlier this year, Google News Initiative partnered with News Corp to launch the Digital News Academy and foster a new generation of news professionals.

In August, Google’s six-year battle with Melbourne lawyer George Defteros ended as the High Court ruled that it is not a publisher.


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