Google appoints News Lab Lead

Uma Patel has joined Google as News Lab Lead for Australia and New Zealand. 

In this role, Patel will be responsible for working alongside academics, newsrooms, nonprofits and community groups throughout Australasia to tackle misinformation, grow diversity within the industry and support digital transformation for journalists.

Patel joins Google from FT Strategies (an innovation team from the Financial Times) where she helped publishers around the world grow their business models including understanding and key metrics for success, developing paywall strategies, growing retention, audience engagement, B2B strategy and creating an experimental culture throughout the organisation.

Before FT Strategies, Patel was a producer and correspondent at the Associated Press, ABC News (AU), Sky News Australia and the Seven Network, covering politics and general news from Canberra, Sydney, Wellington and London.

Patel says: “The news industry has seen some very dramatic changes in the past year and I couldn’t be more excited to join the News Lab team. 

“Facts have never been more important and I’m thrilled to be able to help support the industry to tackle digital misinformation, grow diversity within the newsroom and engage with audiences in a compelling way so we can make sure Australians and New Zealanders have access to the trustworthy and compelling facts they need to understand this new world. It’s a privilege to be able to work alongside newsrooms at such an important time.”

News Lab Head of Partnerships and Training, Matt Cooke says: “We’re excited to continue the work of the News Lab in Australia and New Zealand, strengthening our commitment through the Google News Initiative to help journalists – both staff and freelance, and news organisations – both small and large.”

Patel replaces Nic Hopkins, who has moved into a new role in the News Partnerships team at Google.

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