Independent regional publisher signs deal with Google

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 3 May 2021
Times News Group directors Mark Casey, Warick Brown and Nick Abbott

Regional media publisher Times News Group (TNG) has signed a publisher agreement with Google.

As part of the deal, the Torquay-based independent publisher will curate news content for Google News Showcase which launched in February.

The publisher has seven free community newspapers including Surf Coast Times, Bellarine Times, Armstrong Creek Times, Ballarat Times, and Golden Plains Times. It has also recently expanded with the Geelong Times and Bendigo Times.

The deal comes after the news media bargaining code was passed in February this year, requiring digital platforms to pay certain publishers for their content.

“Google have been nothing but supportive and respectful of the energy and effort that goes into publishing hyper-local community content,” says TNG managing Director Warick Brown.

“Google understands the authority regional newspapers have in the communities they serve, and by providing us with a platform on Google News Showcase they will help take our content further and reach larger audiences.

“Their financial support is a benefit to us and public interest journalism. We can now invest back into our team of journalists to continue to be the voice of the community”.

Google has signed on 100 Australian media titles to its News Showcase, and nearly 600 globally, including News Corp, Australian Community Media, and The Saturday Paper.

The announcement comes after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced it had given Country Press Australia (CPA) the greenlight to collectively bargain for payments.

TNG’s newspapers such as the Geelong Times and Surf Coast Times are members of the CPA.

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