Google – under close scrutiny from the European Union for anti-competitive practices – has said it will donate €150 million to publishers and journalism startups over the next three years.
Google has been repeatedly criticised for diminishing the value of journalism content by showing headlines and content promiscuously.
Four years ago, Google was widely criticised by smaller online journalism sites for instituting an algorithm called “Panda” which had the effect of greatly diminishing their ability to compete with publishing giants.
Some media companies have welcomed Google’s money – they are so-called “founding partners” of the move and include Die Zeit, the Guardian and the Financial Times.
Other organisations that have bitterly complained about Google’s activities in the past – including the German Axel Springer group – have declined to join the initiative.
Google said it will provide money to find out how people read news and also pay for training in “digital skills” to journalists.
Some journalists might contend that journalists need no training from a monopoly which has cost thousands of jobs worldwide through its aggregating effect dragging down the price of online advertising.