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Google aims to transform European newsrooms

Loek Essers | April 29, 2015
Google will give US$163 million to European publishers and digital journalism startups in the next three years as part of a wider package that aims to support the news sector.

"As a founder partner, we recognize this initiative will be seen as a hand-out to some, but we sense there is something quite fundamental to play for," said Tony Danker, International Director of Guardian News & Media in an article on the paper's website. Google shows it is committing to look again at traffic, engagement and revenue for news, he added.

However, this initiative won't head off the Commission's antitrust probe, nor should it, said Danker, adding that there are clearly legitimate questions about dominance that Google will need to answer.

Besides giving €150 million to new media initiatives, Google said it will hire staff based in Paris, Hamburg and London to work with newsrooms on digital skills. Together with publishers, Google will also set up a working group focusing on ads, video, apps, data insights, paid-for journalism and Google News to increase revenue, traffic and audience engagement.

Google will also fund research into the changing media landscape, focusing on news consumption and user behavior across Europe, as well as research into computer-assisted reporting and crowdsourcing information.

 

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