Google is spearheading the creation of a new fund that will give grants to European news organisations that are creating “high-quality journalism.”
The new Digital New Initiative (“DNI”) is being launched as a partnership with nine European newspapers: Les Echos, FAZ, The Financial Times, The Guardian, NRC Media, El Pais, La Stampa, Unidad Editorial, and Die Zeit.
The money will not be spent at those titles. Rather, they will advise on the spending of a €150 million fund to help news organisations “demonstrate new thinking” in digital journalism.
Google is also going to invest in training and research for journalists, including staff in London, Paris, and Hamburg who will train newsrooms in digital skills. It will invest in training partnerships, as well as funding research into digital journalism.
Carlo D’Asaro Biondo, Google’s president of strategic relationships for EMEA is expected to talk more about the DNI when he speaks at the Financial Times Digital Media 2015 conference on Tuesday.
Google has had a tricky relationship with Europe. The European Commission recently accused the company of antitrust violations in Europe, filing a Statement of Objections that detailed allegations surrounding Google Shopping. It claimed that Google gave its own shopping search results priority over other listings. It also announced that it was going to launch an investigation into Google’s Android mobile operating system.
Another problem that Google has had in Europe is the reaction of publishers to Google News, its news search feature. It pulled Google News from Spain after a media lobbying group successfully introduced a law that meant Google would have to pay newspapers every time it linked to them. But when Google pulled the service, the lobbying group complained, saying that its removal would have a negative impact on newspapers.
In October, Google removed thumbnail images and snippets of text from news results belonging to a group of German newspapers. The publisher, Axel Springer, was angry that Google was reposting its content to enhance search results. But the German publishing group later scrapped its plan to reduce its Google results to headlines after traffic plummeted.
Disclosure: Axel Springer is an investor in Business Insider.
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