Google News Changes Don’t Impress Journalism Watchdogs

The Google News app will rely more on AI to filter fake news, get people out of their news “bubble” and expose them to top sources on important stories, according to CEO Sundar Pichai.

“…the app now surfaces the news you care about from trusted sources while still giving you a full range of perspectives on events.”

The goal of using AI is to find the best sources around the globe, said Tystan Upstill, product chief for Google News. He said the app will allow people to personalize the news, but also will have top stories, so that everyone will have the same general information from “trusted” news sources. Users will be able to subscribe to the service while personalizing coverage, but still have access to all of the news tabs.

According to a story on, some in the journalism industry are skeptical, including Meredith Broussard, a New York University professor who called it a “fantasy” to personalize news. “Nobody has ever gotten it right,” Broussard said. “I think that news designers and home page editors do a good job of curating already.”

The story also quoted News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson, who wants an algorithm review board to make sure the digital platforms aren’t censoring or abusing their function. Other journalism professors expressed concerns about the news app as well, since 90 percent of ad revenues go to Google and Facebook and they have control over a small number of sources that are promoted.