How Google aims to save journalism, thwart fake news and trump Facebook

Google's olive branch to news publishers is about capturing ad dollars from a weakened Facebook as much as it is saving the media industry.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Google aims to save journalism, thwart fake news and more importantly hit duopoly partner Facebook.

What do you do when half of a digital advertising duopoly is limping? Punch your rival in the mouth and partner with news organizations and exploit lots of frustration.

Google announced plans to work with news organizations to grow digital revenue and strengthen journalism. The Google plan is to "build a more informed world" and have "shared business interest." Google launched the Google News Initiative to "help journalism thrive in the digital age."

CNET: Google takes on fake news with $300 million News Initiative

Google has turned from a media company foe to friend in no time. Why? Here are a few reasons:

That latter point is the primary takeaway to consider with Google's save journalism initiative. According to eMarketer, Facebook and Google will capture 56.8 percent of U.S. digital ad investment in 2018, down from 58.5 percent in 2017. In 2016, Google and Facebook's share of new ad dollars was 73 percent.

Suddenly, getting news publishers on Google's side may make some sense. Why? eMarketer noted that Amazon and Snapchat are growing at a faster than expected clip.

Google and Facebook realize its harder to distinguish between real news and fake news. These giants also realize that users are starting to question how those companies use and share data. It's a big mess that screams regulation.

In that context, we can just say that Google's bone to news publishers is a move to get ahead of the bad news Facebook is generating.

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