Google has signed agreements with eight publishers in Canada for its News Showcase program, including major publishers like The Globe and Mail. The deal will allow Google to license content and pay news organizations for high-quality journalism and curation of stories, as it has done in France, the UK and other countries. Users in turn will be able to access certain paywalled stories for free.
The publishers signing on to the agreement are Black Press Media, Glacier Media, The Globe and Mail, Métro Média, Narcity Media, SaltWire Network, Village Media and Winnipeg Free Press. All told, they represent over 70 national, regional and community news groups in both French and English. So far, Google has signed up nearly 800 news publications worldwide.
Google also said that it would expand its investment in Canadian journalism via the Google News Initiative, offering digital programs for small and medium-sized news organizations. It aims to train 5,000 Canadian journalists and journalism students over the next three years, a five-fold increase over the current number. "I am pleased to see that Google will also be assisting the small, independent newspapers and websites adapt to an increasing digital world," said Black Press Media CEO Rick O'Connor.
Google's News Showcase initiatives have come after numerous battles with news organizations in the UK, France and elsewhere over payments for the use of "snippets" and other types of news content. At one point, Google threatened to disable search in Australia if it was forced to pay for news. However, it later relented and agreed to pay Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for its content.