Google Inc has given $2 million to the Knight Foundation, it was announced yesterday, and the search giant has said it will invest $3 million more in journalism projects outside the US, "through a similar partnership." More details will be available early next year, according to a post on Google's blog by Nikesh Arora, President, Global Sales Operations and Business Development.
The money to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is intended to support the foundation's digital media innovation work, and half will go to the Knight News Challenge, while the remaining $1 million will to other grants around news innovation which will be announced later.
The Knight Foundation quoted Arora as saying that "Journalism is fundamental to a functioning democracy, and we want to do our part to help fulfill the promise of journalism in the digital age. There is no better partner to support innovation and experimentation in digital journalism than Knight Foundation."
"We're eager to play our part on the technology side," Arora said on the Google Blog, highlighting the new ways to present news online and the tools that Google has developed.
"This is huge," said Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen said of the Google contribution in a video on the KnightBlog. "It's not just the size of it but it's the endorsement from the industry leader, and it's the attention that I hope it will get, both for the project, that is the informing of people in a democracy, as well as for our willingness to partner," he continued.
During the last five years, the Knight Foundation has invested more than $100 million in media innovation.
Amidst conflict with publishers over the fact that the company is seen by some as unfairly making a profit from news organisations' content, Google has recently made a significant effort to present itself as a partner rather than an enemy of news providers.