Google’s new initiative aims at European media

Group will partner with eight European publishers following EU’s antitrust action

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Google will give €150 million to news publishers and start-ups focusing on journalism over the next three years. The digital partnership with eight European publishers, dubbed the Digital Media Initiative (DNI), will provide funds and support to help media companies make their online coverage more profitable.

The Financial Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Die Zeit, Les Echos, FAZ, NRC Media, and La Stampa signed the DNI. But publications belonging to media giants such as News Corp and Axel Springer are not amongst those.

"This is just the beginning, and we invite others to join us," said Carlo D'Asaro Biondo, Google’s president of strategic relationships for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"Through the Digital News Initiative, Google will work hand in hand with news publishers and journalism organizations to help develop more sustainable models for news.”

Google will fund researches to investigate news consumption and crowdsourcing information, as well as innovation. It will also assign three of its workers in Paris, London and Berlin to teach journalists digital skills.

"We welcome the Digital News Initiative, and see its real potential. But that potential depends on whether, having been conceived by Google in Europe, it is now adopted by Google in Mountain View," said Tony Danker, the international director of the Guardian.

"The test of success is whether it leads to meaningful change to ensure journalism flourishes in the digital age."

Jon Slade, Financial Times B2C managing director, said: “We believe there is scope for more cooperation around discovery, monetisation and the development of tools and analytics for news organizations.”

Google’s initiative came following the European Union’s antitrust action against it two weeks ago. The EU is accusing Google of abusing its 90 percent of search share for promoting its other product and services.

TRTWorld and agencies