Some people like to argue that search engines are killing journalism, but if that’s the case, Google at least deserves credit for trying to perform a sort of first aid. Google announced this afternoon that it’s donating $5 million to "encourage innovation in digital journalism."
Where $3 million of that sum will wind up is unknown at this point. Google has only said that it’s looking to fund one or more journalism projects not based in the U.S. As for the other $2 million, it will go to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The Knight Foundation dates back to 1940. Its name may sound familiar if you’ve watched many PBS shows, and a post on the Official Google Blog explained that the Knight Foundation "has a proven track record of supporting programs that drive innovation in journalism."
Then the post continued, "It will use $1 million to support U.S. grant-making in this crucial area. The other $1 million will augment the Knight News Challenge, which is accepting funding proposals from anyone, anywhere in the world, until December 1. . . . [T]he News Challenge has supported projects like DocumentCloud, which aims to bring more investigative-reporting source material online so anyone can find and read it."
Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargen says a little more about his organization (and Google’s donation) in the video below.