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Google launches News Showcase in Australia amid media code row

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Sydney, Feb 5 (IANS) Amid the ongoing new media code row, Google has launched its News Showcase platform in Australia where a growing number of local and regional publishers will be paid to provide content for News Showcase.

Panels on News Showcase display an enhanced view of an article or articles, giving participating publishers more ways to bring important news to readers and explain it in their own voice, along with more direct control of presentation and branding.

The panels will appear across Google News on Android, iOS and the mobile web, and in Discover on iOS, bringing high-value traffic to a publisher’s site.

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“We also plan to bring News Showcase to Search as well as the other surfaces of Google News and Discover in the future,” said Kate Beddoe, Head of News, Web & Publishing Product Partnerships, APAC.

The Google News Showcase has already reached nearly 450 publications across a dozen countries, the majority of which are local and regional.

Google said that its investment of $1 billion over the next three years towards news partnerships and for Google News Showcase helps support publications to produce, distribute and explain essential information to users in new ways.

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“As this early version of News Showcase rolls out, the partnerships will provide financial support for some of the country’s most respected independent, local and regional publications including The Canberra Times, The Illawarra Mercury, The Saturday Paper, Crikey, The New Daily, InDaily and The Conversation,” the company announced.

The announcement comes at a time when the News Media Bargaining Code has triggered a bitter war between Google and the Australian government.

Google said that it supports a fair Code but the current version remains unworkable.

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Rod Sims, chair of the watchdog Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has said that Google and Facebook just don’t want the code to be implemented.

Google said the News Showcase would operate within this new law, with binding arbitration on News Showcase as a backstop to resolve any disputes.

The tech giant has threatened to pull its Search engine from Australia if a proposed media bargaining law, that directs Google to pay news publishers, goes into effect.

–IANS

na/

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