Google is being more proactive in the face of a major anti-trust suit which has been brought against it by the EU. The company has just announced the launch of The Digital News Initiative which will give $162 million to European news agencies.
This comes after Carlo D’Asaro Biondo, Google’s Europe president/strategic relationships, admitted an audience of media executives in London that it had made mistakes. He said, “Google has always wanted to be a friend and partner to the news industry. I think we at Google have to accept we have made some mistakes along the way, ”
One of the biggest complaints against the internet behemoth is that Google news, founded in 2002, has added to the erosion of quality journalism worldwide.
“The feedback has been that Google can be complicated to work with and sometimes unpredictable. We intend to change that and it’s my job to change that, ” added Biondo.
According to the website, Google is partnering with news publishers in Europe to support high quality journalism through technology and innovation. Google says that the program will create, “a ‘product working group’ to enable a close, on-going dialogue exploring product developments to increase revenue, traffic and audience engagement.”
Google is funding an expanded Reuters Institute Digital report into news consumption and user behaviour across Europe, covering 20 countries; Grants for academic research into computational journalism, including disciplines such as computer-assisted reporting, crowd-sourcing and data-driven insights; Extending Google Journalism Fellowships program to Europe.
As of now the participating newspapers and news agencies are: Les Echos (France), FAZ (Germany), The Financial Times (UK), The Guardian (UK)
NRC Group (Netherlands), El Pais (Spain), La Stampa (Italy), Die Zeit (Germany), The European Journalism Centre (EJC), The Global Editors Network (GEN), The International News Media Association (INMA).