announced today the dedication of $3 million in new funding to support innovative new media organizations outside the United States. That's on top of $2 million granted to the Knight Foundation. ($1m for the Knight News Challenge, $1m TBD.)Google may be accused of helping kill the newspapers of the world, but the search and advertising giant
Google has been a consistent supporter of new media efforts. This new announcement means that for every $40,000 in the company's market cap, it is donating $1 for the future of media. That doesn't seem like the most aggressive initiative, given the gravity of the situation - but it is Google's money.
Google's history of support for independent journalism also includes the creation of a YouTube Reporters' Center in June of 2009, which now returns a 404 page not found error, and a campaign to train hyperlocal multi-media journalists in the Czech Republic, which was announced in May of 2009. Update: A representative from Google contacted us with a revised URL for the Reporters' Center, which is in fact still active.
The company says it will announce specific grant programs for international media early next year.
Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen published an Op-Ed in The New York Times yesterday (registration required) arguing that the company's own commercial products, like YouTube, are an effective force in global human rights movements.