What’s happening:

Guardian News & Media just announced the launch of Guardian Voice Lab, an small, in-house team that will create and test innovative ways to deliver audio journalism using Google Assist. The lab will explore new methods of delivering journalism using smart speaker devices to provide its audience with engaging and unique audio storytelling experiences, in the authentic Guardian voice.

Google has provided funding for the project, which is scheduled to run for six months to build on previous initiatives launched by Guardian, including Virtual Reality and the Mobile Innovation Lab.


Digging deeper:

Guardian Voice Lab will:

  • Strengthen The Guardian’s internal capabilities.
  • Strengthen its understanding of best journalistic practices on new and developing technologies.
  • Give the dedicated, multi-disciplinary team the time, space and resources to innovate with smart speakers and work out how journalism can thrive on the platform.
  • Aim to be a collaboration not only across The Guardian, but across the industry by sharing the learnings with readers and the wider media.

The Guardian Voice Lab team will document their progress and learnings through a blog. The lab follows the launch of The Guardian’s new daily podcast, Today in Focus, which takes an in-depth look at a key news event each day.


The bottom line:

The Guardian has a history of digital innovation in journalism and working with emerging technologies to create immersive and impactful storytelling through new media. Now it is bringing that same experimental approach to the conversational interface.

“I’m really excited to see the Guardian Voice Lab team come together,” said Christian Bennett, executive editor of multimedia at Guardian News & Media. “It’s important that we get to understand how future platforms can work for journalism as the platforms are still being built. This allows us to build a space for innovation and experimentation at the centre of the organisation and give them the time to explore the possibilities of voice technology.”

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