Knight Foundation Gets $2M Grant from Google

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has 2 million reasons to be happy Tuesday courtesy of Google, which provided it with a $2 million grant to support its media-innovation work.

The Knight Foundation said it has invested more than $100 million over the past five years in a multifaceted media-innovation initiative covering national media policy, technology innovation, public media transformation, and the evolution of the Web.

Google president of global sales operations and business development Nikesh Arora said:

Journalism is fundamental to a functioning democracy, and we want to do our part to help fulfill the promise of journalism in the digital age. There is no better partner to support innovation and experimentation in digital journalism than the Knight Foundation.

Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibargüen added:

This is an enormously important vote of confidence by the industry leader. We welcome Google’s support. The free flow of information is essential to a democratic society. Already, more Americans get their information from the Internet than from newspapers. That trend will only intensify, making it imperative for our democracy that we find ways to effectively deliver the news and information people require on the new, digital platforms. It is essential in this transformative time that we join with others to find ways in which information can be generally shared so that, in Jack Knight’s words, the people “may pursue their true interests.” Google is the right partner. We hope for many others.

And a post by director of new media John Bracken on the KnightBlog read:

It’s a good day when the biggest company on the Internet tells you that they admire your work. The only thing better is when they tell you they back up the compliment with millions of dollars to help expand your work.

Knight Foundation today is gratefully accepting $2 million from Google to further our media-innovation grant making. We’re going to apply one-half of the gift to the Knight News Challenge, which opened for entries yesterday. The other $1 million will be applied to other grants around news innovation — we’ll announce them as they are developed later this year and next.

In addition to being thankful for the funds, we are grateful to Google for their vote of confidence in us.

The tumult of the last few years is unlikely to subside anytime soon. The challenges we face aren’t small. However, through programs like the Knight News Challenge, the Knight Community Information Challenge, and other grants, we at Knight Foundation have tried to take advantage of the opportunities presented by new interactive technologies and practices. We’re glad that Google has seen fit to join with us, and hope to work with others in the future.