Oct 27, 2010

Google grants 5 million USD for journalism innovation programs

Google has granted $5 million to non-profit organizations to be used toward journalism innovation programs.  The Knight Foundation is the recipient of $2 million of that coffer, while Google is looking to invest the other $3 million in similar organizations outside the United States.

The Knight Foundation will use $1 million of Google money toward the News Challenge and the other $1 million for grants. On average, the Knight Foundation invests $35 million annually from its trust  in new projects and initiatives and the Google gift adds to the purse.

“Clearly journalism is fundamental to a functioning society and democracy,” said Chris Gaither senior manager of news industry relations at Google.  ”We have been doing lots of things working directly with news publishers to try and figure out ways to ease the transition to digital.”

 For those unfamilar with the Knight Foundation, it is almost akin to an angel investor for journalism with a trust started in the1940s from four Knight newspapers — the Miami Herald, the Charolotte Observer, the Akron Beacon Journal and the Detroit Free Press — as well as huge contributions from brothers John S. and James L. Knight and their mother Clara.

It  has funneled more than $100 million in several different initiatives including the Knight News Challenge, which spawned such projects as EveryBlock, a hyper local data sourcing site that was snapped up by MSNBC, and Spot.us, a crowd-funded site for reporters.

“What is different about this is it is from a digital industry media leader,” said Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen.

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