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In 2023, there were notable developments in the media industry in Central and Eastern Europe, especially regarding technology, journalism, and addressing misinformation. Publishers in the region have prioritized training and development to leverage new technologies for growth, and Google has supported them.
One of the ways Google is helping is through the Google News Initiative (GNI). The GNI has delivered business training for publishers on audience development and reader revenue. It has also launched the Startups Lab for Eastern Europe to help news startups grow subscribers and build sustainable business models.
Google is also helping journalists by providing fact-checking and advanced technical training. This is important because the challenge of misinformation is evolving. This year, Baltic publishers used Google’s Pinpoint, a research tool built for journalists, to tackle some of their most difficult stories.
In addition to training and tools, Google brings news leaders together through local gatherings. This year, Google hosted six publisher days and gatherings in major cities across CEE. These gatherings help to build bridges and share insights between news leaders in the region.
Last month, Microsoft also announced a comprehensive plan to safeguard the integrity of the 2024 elections worldwide, encompassing five key initiatives.
Overall, through its diverse range of programs, tools, and partnerships, Google seems to be playing a crucial role in ensuring the future of a vibrant and independent news media landscape in the region.