efe-epaMadrid

Multinational technology company Google is to collaborate with Spain’s international news agency EFE to help it innovate and further its advancement into cutting edge digital platforms by providing training on the use of state-of-the-art tools and formats as well as systems for the distribution of news content, the companies said in joint statements Wednesday.

The collaboration is to take place during the coming months and will include training for EFE professionals provided by the Google News Lab team in the use of digital tools that should help in newsgathering and forward transmission, the companies said.

“The alliance with Google is key," said Fernando Garea, EFE’s President, who added that "search engines are essential to ensuring that news media can be seen and read and redirected to reliable sources of information."

The agreement will offer technological support to EFE through servers, databases, editing tools, data analysis and content digitization, the companies said.

The training is also aimed at promoting a higher quality visual narrative through the incorporation of tools such as Google Maps, Google Earth and YouTube, among others, the statements said.

Google will also study how to help EFE in a project that intends to transform the agency's vast historical archives within Google’s Arts & Culture program.

"Working together in the digital environment between aggregators and news agencies is the best antidote against fake news and misinformation, where collaboration is undoubtedly better than regulation," Garea said.

"Offering access to accurate and relevant information is a priority for Google and a necessity for democratic societies," said Fuencisla Clemares, Director of Google Spain and Portugal.

She added that by working hand in hand, the two entities would consolidate “a professional and sustainable news ecosystem, adapted to new lifestyles and forms of consumption."

The agreement corresponded with Google's aim of making a better and more informed world as people turn to its search engine to access information they can trust.

The demand for quality journalism is high, she said but “journalism as a business is under pressure and news organizations are facing the challenges of a transition toward a digital environment," Clemares added.

According to a recent study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), fake news is far more widespread on social networks than true and verified news and in the specific case of Twitter, the falsehoods are retweeted or shared 70 percent more than real news.