Guardian inks Google News Showcase deal ahead of Senate’s code debate

The Guardian Australia cemented its weeks-long negotiations with Google over the weekend, entering into a multi-year News Showcase agreement just days after Seven West Media, News Corp and Junkee did the same. Nine Entertainment Co is understood to also be close to signing a deal.

The deal also comes just days before the Senate is set to debate the News Media Bargaining Code, which was passed through the House of Representatives last week, prompting Facebook to, without warning, strip its platform of news in Australia.

The Guardian Australia’s managing director, Dan Stinton, called attention to the misinformation which will now live unchecked on Facebook, telling Mumbrella: “Obviously Facebook is already struggling to moderate the mass of disinformation that is so prominent on its platform. The best antidote to this is the promotion of fact-based journalism, so this decision risks making the platform the permanent home of cat videos and conspiracy theories. Good luck to them.”

Of the Google deal, Stinton added: “We welcome the partnership with Google which recognises the benefits that Guardian journalism delivers and look forward to working with them to make this deal a success.

“We also congratulate the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Government on the development of the digital platforms and News Media Bargaining Code, with this world-leading legislation providing the necessary regulatory environment to secure fair commercial deals that will sustain Australian journalism into the future.”

In the face of Facebook’s actions – Google’s threat to pull its search function from the market still looms should the tech company not be satisfied with an amended code – the government dug its heels in, reiterating its commitment to legislating the News Media Bargaining Code.

“Facebook was wrong. Facebook’s actions were unnecessary, they were heavy handed, and they will damage its reputation here in Australia,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said, while Communications Minister Paul Fletcher echoed Stinton’s misinformation argument.

“What they’re effectively saying to Australians is: ‘You will not find content on our platform, which comes from an organisation which employs professional journalists, which has editorial policies, which has fact checking processes’,” the minister said.

“They’re effectively saying ‘You will not find information that meets those standards of accuracy’ on our site. That seems a very surprising position. And one that is unlikely to be in the long-term interests of their brand.”


Google’s local managing director, Mel Silva, added that the search engine company is pleased to add The Guardian Australia to its roster of News Showcase partners.

“The Guardian has a strong history breaking important stories across politics, health, the environment and provides a unique focus on Australian culture,” she said.

“News Showcase is a different news experience taking people deeper into the stories that matter, building new connections between publishers and readers and covering a range of diverse issues.

“Since launching earlier this month, there are now well over 50 Australian titles signed on to Showcase, with more than 500 globally. These include the Hobart Mercury, Cairns Post, Geelong Advertiser, Manly Daily, Seven News, The Illawarra Mercury, Junkee, and the Saturday Paper.”


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