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Google - Friend Of The Fourth Estate

Who says Google doesn't treat journalism like a national treasure? The search giant -- accused now and then of undermining traditional media models -- is donating $5 million to encourage innovation in digital journalism. $2 million will go directly to the Knight Foundation, while the remaining $3 million will go to fund international news-innovation efforts, via a partnership with an as-yet-unannounced organization, the Nieman Journalism Lab reports.

"Google has been pretty clear about the fact that we want to do our part to help fulfill the promise of journalism in the digital age," Chris Gaither, Google's senior manager for news industry relations, tells Nieman. Calling the gift an "olive branch," Nieman notes: "It's also a way for the organization to put some money where its mouth is when it comes to its relations with journalism." The Knight Foundation is expected to devote about a $1 million of its endowment to the Knight news Challenge, which Nielsen dubs an "innovation contest."

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