First independent regional publisher signs with Google

May 3, 2021 BY

Signed up: Times News Group directors Mark Casey, Warick Brown and Nick Abbott have signed a deal to provide content from the company to Google News Showcase. Photo: TIMES NEWS GROUP

REGIONAL media company Times News Group has joined national and regional news providers including News Corp, Australian Community Media, Seven West Media and Nine to sign a publisher agreement with Google News Showcase.

The Torquay-based company, which has satellite offices in Bendigo and Ballarat, will curate news content for Google’s News Showcase which the search engine launched in February.

The deal will significantly boost Times News Group’s investment in public interest journalism, increasing hyper-local news content across its growing list of publications.

Times News Group Directors Mark Casey, Warick Brown and Nick Abbott strategically grew a free Torquay-centric community newspaper to seven mastheads; Surf Coast Times, Bellarine Times, Armstrong Creek Times, Ballarat Times, Golden Plains Times and more recently expanded with the Geelong Times and Bendigo Times.

Managing director Warick Brown praised Google for respecting and understanding the importance of penning an agreement with regional publishers saying the deal highlighted the importance of community focused news.

“Google have been nothing but supportive and respectful of the energy and effort that goes into publishing hyper-local community content,” Mr Brown said.

“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.”

Kate Beddoe, Google’s APAC head of news, web & publishing product partnerships, commended Times News Group for investing further in local journalism to ensure regional communities have access to news they care about.

“Our partnership demonstrates our enthusiasm for supporting quality local news through News Showcase and we are delighted with Times News Group’s participation,” she said.

The deal will build on Google’s Australian partnerships which include Seven West Media, News Corp, Australian Community Media, The Saturday Paper, Crikey, and The New Daily.

As of today, 100 Australian media titles have signed onto News Showcase since launch earlier in 2021, with close to 600 publishers worldwide.