Google News Initiative
The Google News Initiative is a global team at Google whose official mission is to "collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to help build the future of media".
- Battling misinformation
- Telling local stories
- Boosting digital revenues
- Exploring new technologies
As of late 2020, the Google News Initiative reported distributing more than $189 million to 6,250 news organizations in 118 countries.
Problems with official narrative
The large amounts of cash influences reporting about Google itself, among other subject matters. Of the grantees, none can be found that challenges the official narrative on big issues, where the Overton Window is established by fact checkers.
In 2018, while campaigning against the proposed Directive on Copyright in the EU, Google encouraged members of the Initiative's working group to lobby their regional MEPs. The private request was revealed by the Financial Times, itself a recipient of grants from the Initiative.
- Google’s initiatives consistently came about in response to growing political pressure.
- In the European part, some three quarters of the funding millions went to commercial media organisations, the largest share to Germany. Only four of the 28 large projects to receive funding of more than 300,000 euros in Germany were at regional publishers. At the other end of the spectrum are major publishing empires such as Dieter von Holtzbrinck Medien, Funke Mediengruppe, and Gruner + Jahr, each of whom received between 3 and 10 million euros. More precise figures cannot be provided, since neither Google nor the majority of recipients espouse transparency regarding specific funding amounts.
- Google is helping to decide who wins the battle for survival in the beleaguered media market.
- This impression is reinforced by the findings relating to Google funded industry events, fellowships, and training programmes. It is shown that Google’s sponsorship has made it a platform for industry debate it self, while giving young journalists a step up on the career ladder. There is barely an industry event in Germany and Europe that takes place without the involvement of the data corporation. In Germany alone, the company has also sponsored 50 fellowships, giving students of journalism the chance to spend time working at leading media organisations such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Der Spiegel, and Zeit Online. This not only gives Google a seat at the table during industry discussions; it is also defining a generation of budding media professionals.
- https://newsinitiative.withgoogle.com/info/innovation-challenges/funding/ List of grantees examined in February 2023
- https://www.otto-brenner-stiftung.de/fileadmin/user_data/stiftung/02_Wissenschaftsportal/03_Publikationen/AH103_Google_EN.pdf page 89