News Corp and Google launch journalism academy in Australia

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 3 August 2021
Michael Miller

News Corp Australia and Google have launched an education program to equip news professionals with the skills for storytelling based on the “commercial realities” of today’s media industry.

The academy, which begins in early 2022, will accept 750 local and regional Australian news professionals over the next three years.

The training will focus on skills such as digital journalism, video and audio production, data journalism, audience measurement, reader revenue, digital business models and marketing.

The Digital News Academy will also fund 60 new 12-month journalism traineeships in regional Australia over three years.

“This is the first time in the digital era that Australian media companies have made such a commitment - both intellectually and financially - to strengthen and future-proof journalism in this country, especially in regional Australia,” says News Corp Australasia’s executive chairman Michael Miller.

“The partnership with Google means we will be able to bring our real world journalism experience to designing and delivering the curriculum while tapping into Google’s knowledge of content that resonates with audiences and the resources they have developed working with news organisations globally for many years,” Miller says.

Training opportunities at the academy will include instant online tutorials to a formal education curriculum, as well as a major annual conference and a US study tour for a select group of trainees.

The trainees will be drawn from News Corp Australia and a range of small and regional publishers. Smaller publishers from across the country will also be invited to participate.

“By ensuring these independent voices continue to be heard we will improve people’s lives - whether by highlighting injustices, campaigning on important causes, holding local government to account, or simply following the local footy team’s ups and downs.” Miller says.

“All Australians will benefit and it helps fulfil our promise to always strive to make a positive difference to the communities we serve. The Academy’s foundation mission is to assist news organisations large and small develop business models built on high value journalism.”

ACM will be a major participant in the program, receiving both training and trainees.

“The ongoing training and upskilling of our editorial teams to meet the ever-changing demands on our consumers is a key priority for our business,” says ACM CEO Tony Kendall.

“This is evidenced by the recent appointment of Saffron Howden in the role of editorial training manager. With Saffron's experience, and the global expertise brought together in this program, this bi-partisan initiative will be fantastic for ACM editorial staff and the strength of regional journalism more broadly.”

Google has signed multiple payment deals with publishers across Australia, including News Corp Australia, as part of the news media bargaining code.

“It builds on the work we’ve been doing for years in support of regional publishers,” says Google’s director of news partnerships for APAC, Kate Beddoe.

“We’ve long partnered with the news industry in Australia, and this new initiative will benefit and support hundreds of journalists from across the Australian news industry.”


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