Google woos news start-ups with £107m support pledge

28/04/2015

Google has pledged to give €150m (£107m) to European news publishers and journalism-focused start-ups over the next three years.

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The move comes as Google is to admit it has "made mistakes" in how it treated the media, after the EU accused Google of exploiting a monopoly in online search.

The new fund for European newspapers, including The Guardian and The Financial Times, to "promote innovation in digital journalism".

Spain's El Pais and Germany's Die Zeit are also among those backing the initiative.

Carlo D’Asaro Biondo, head of Google’s strategic relationships in Europe, will say later today: “We recognise that technology companies and news organisations are part of the same information ecosystem and we want to play our part in the common fight to find more sustainable models for news.

“We firmly believe Google has always aimed to be friend and partner to the news industry, but we also accept we’ve made some mistakes along the way.

“We are determined to play our part in ongoing dialogue and business partnership with the aim of building something more sustainable.”

The company said its Digital News Initiative (DNI) would help address "legitimate questions about how high quality journalism can be sustained in the digital age".

As well as setting up a working group to encourage collaboration, the initiative will give the papers a £107 million fund for projects over three years.

In addition to its innovation fund, Google has also pledged to:

 • work with European publishers to discuss ways to boost revenues via the use of ads, apps, paywalls and analytics data

• pay for three of its own workers - based in Paris, Hamburg and London - to provide digital skills training to journalists

• fund research to investigate how people consume news and find new techniques to crowdsource information

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