Google announced today that it will be giving away $5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations that are “working to develop new approaches to journalism in the digital age.” Two million of that will go to the Knight Foundation. In recent years, Google is the only media company to donate to the foundation. The remaining $3 million will go to a similar nonprofit partnership, to be announced earlier next year. Considering that digital journalists haven’t been too forgiving of Google (see: CEO Eric Schmidt’s comments that people who don’t like Street View “can just move,” reaction to), this is a very nice olive branch extended in the direction of the industry that once tried to blame the search giant for its inability to keep up with the web. We understand that donations take awhile to set up and that this was most likely already in the works. But perhaps Google PR overlooked the optics of throwing out a $5 million donation (0.23 percent of its $2.17 billion net profits last quarter) on the same day that Schmidt has to explain to the humorless public that he “misspoke” about suggesting you up and move.
Google gives $5 million to fund journalism innovation [Reuters]
Google CEO Apologizes for Street View Schmidtstorm [AllThingsD]
Related: CNN Edits Out Google CEO Saying People Who Don’t Like Street View ‘Can Just Move’