Google announces $1M grant to promote news literacy in India
Technology giant Google on Wednesday announced a grant of $1 million to promote news literacy among Indians.
The money will be given to Internews, a global non-profit, which will select a team of 250 journalists, fact-checkers, academics, and NGO workers for the project, a statement said.
The announcement, a part of a $ 10 million commitment worldwide to media literacy, comes at a time when news publishers, especially on the digital front, have been found to have indulged in spreading misinformation.
Google said a curriculum will be developed by a team of global and local experts, who will roll out the project in seven Indian languages.
"The local leaders will then roll out the training to new internet users in non-metro cities in India, enabling them to better navigate the internet and assess the information they find," the statement said.
With an eye to curb misinformation, the Google News Initiative (GNI) India Training Network – a group of 240 senior Indian reporters and journalism educators – has been working to counteract disinformation in its newsrooms and beyond since last year.
GNI has given verification training to more than 15,000 journalists and students from more than 875 news organisations in 10 Indian languages, using a "train-the-trainer" approach over the past year, it said.
Earlier this month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will do well only if others alongside it do well, as he dismissed any risks from the tech giant becoming too powerful.
"With our scale rightly comes scrutiny. Yes, we've bought startups, but we also invest every year in hundreds of startups through our venture arms," Pichai said at the WEF 2020, in a conversation with World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman, Klaus Schwab.
Schwab asked him whether there is a risk that Google may become too powerful. "We will do well only if others do well alongside us," Pichai answered.
When asked about Google's future plans, he said that Alphabet has the flexibility to have different structures to allow it to take a long-term view, working on how technology can improve people's lives further into the future.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)