ICNN and Google deal is a game changer for community journalism

South Leeds Life is delighted to announce that we are one of forty-five independent community news outlets to sign up to the Google News Showcase in a deal brokered by the Independent Community News Network (ICNN).

In a deal that is one-of-a-kind for independent publishers in the UK, ICNN has partnered with Google via its public interest news gateway: Ping News.

The financial support provided by Google will help build much-needed sustainability and cements the sector within the wider journalism ecosystem.

For South Leeds Life the income is likely to meet the shortfall created by the dramatic rise in printing costs, which threatened the South Leeds Life newspaper.

We now have access to new ways to reach our audiences, grow our readership and generate additional income.

So far the majority of organisations that have partnered with Google on the Showcase project have been traditional news publishers.

Access to trusted news is essential for a robust democracy, and nowhere is journalism more trusted and more valued than at the local and hyperlocal level.

Deputy Director of ICNN, Matt Abbott said:

“This is game-changing for independent journalism in the UK and we are delighted to expand our relationship with Google to bring this partnership together.

“Google News Showcase is an extremely important initiative that highlights the value of local news.

“By partnering with Ping News, Google is not only helping the independent sector become more sustainable but is acknowledging the enormous contribution hyperlocal journalism makes to public interest news in the UK.”

“Additionally, Google’s support of the Ping! platform – the Public Interest News Gateway – means regional and national publishers will soon be able to access rich multimedia content from every region of the UK on demand, from hundreds of professional independent community journalists.”

Ping! developed and built in partnership with Bristol-based web app development company Omni Digital, is due to launch in May 2023.

Vice President of Google and Managing Director of Google UK & Ireland, Debbie Weinstein said:

“In uncertain times, having easy access to reliable information through trusted sources on the internet is more important than ever. That’s why for more than two decades we’ve focused on connecting people with facts and journalism they can trust.

“Today, we’re excited to extend Showcase licensing deals to 45 smaller independent news titles thanks to a partnership with Ping News, a new public interest news gateway set up by the team at ICNN.”


Whilst you’re here, can we ask a favour?

South Leeds Life is published by a not-for-profit social enterprise. We keep our costs as low as possible but we’ve been hit by increases in the print costs for our monthly newspaper – up 83% this year.

Could you help support local community news by making a one off donation, or even better taking out a supporters subscription?

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