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Exclusive: Google funds creation of new local media companies

Exclusive: Google funds creation of new local media companies

Read more on Axios

Featured contributions

  • Like many things, this could evolve in several different directions. One thing that seems important is that journalism businesses be self sustaining, so that they’re not dependent on the benevolence of Google or others (unless there is something like a tax on distribution platforms that funds journalism

    Like many things, this could evolve in several different directions. One thing that seems important is that journalism businesses be self sustaining, so that they’re not dependent on the benevolence of Google or others (unless there is something like a tax on distribution platforms that funds journalism, or some other structural approach). As in philanthropy, seemingly good actions can sometimes displace or prevent the development of durable ones, and can create volatility when things benefactors shift priorities. This is a core argument of Giridharadas’ Winners Take All, which is definitely worth reading as one thinks about issues like this one.

More contributions

  • The partnership between Google and highly-localized (oft-struggling) news outlets is also key I want to add. The people that have been on the grind for years, like editors that have taken on an extra job to make ends meet but who are dedicated to arming their communities with information.

  • Local news is essential to a functioning democracy. The value comes from the countervailing force that journalistic “sunlight” creates relative to government and corporate power. The challenge is to find a business model that can hold its own against the commoditizing power of internet platforms. Whether

    Local news is essential to a functioning democracy. The value comes from the countervailing force that journalistic “sunlight” creates relative to government and corporate power. The challenge is to find a business model that can hold its own against the commoditizing power of internet platforms. Whether this initiative can solve either problem remains to be seen.

    Google’s objectives are clear. The company’s Sidewalk initiative is trying to take over some roles of government in Smart Cities projects, implementing widespread surveillance, with continuing control of data and some civil services. As a foundational element of civic life, local journalism has a role to play in Google’s strategy. I just don’t know what it is yet.

  • In related news, a new Pew survey released today revels that most Americans think that local news is doing well financially, and not many pay for it: share.qz.com/news/2354111

  • This is great news for local news. I cut my teeth on the Wandsworth Guardian and it put me in a great position to tell stories for the next decade. We need local journalism more today than ever before.

  • How encouraging to learn that local news is good for tech-giant business. I hope a massive correction will take place. I’ll take three newly beefed-up small-market outlets for now.

  • This is like McDonalds launching a new salad and claiming it’s now on the right side of the obesity issue. Come on people, look beyond the headline.

  • Good initiative, but I can’t say I’m fully at ease with it.

  • Like Godzilla surveying the wreckage of Tokyo and trying to put one building back together using Elmer's glue.

  • "Local" has always been and clearly remains a highly meaningful focus in media. The internet in many ways broke News, Radio (music), and TV models, and in the process, people lost touch with Local Information. Social Media has essentially filled the gap, with people now finding local news and events

    "Local" has always been and clearly remains a highly meaningful focus in media. The internet in many ways broke News, Radio (music), and TV models, and in the process, people lost touch with Local Information. Social Media has essentially filled the gap, with people now finding local news and events on Twitter and Facebook... But that's influenced by social media - people still long for the authority and depth of coverage of a Local Report.

    This is fantastic news as a reflection of the fact that the innovators (and investors) know this to be true. Now we just need to help Local Media catch up more quickly with how media works in today's online world.