Google Helps American Media Come Out of the Knight 5

This is a guest post by Anne Potts, Senior Vice President, Racepoint Group.

The mid-term elections give us a chance to take a hard look at the health of our democracy and the direction of public discourse.  The consolidation of the journalistic voice brought about by media mergers and failures under the weight of an unsustainable economic model is unacceptable.  It inexorably weakens our democracy.

Leave it to Google to see the chance to make change with a $5M gift to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on “advancing journalism in the digital age.”  In partnership with the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge, Google’s $5M will fund projects that meet the “challenge” by addressing the critical success factors of a new approach, like expanding access to news and generating community involvement, use of mobile technologies, helping people understand the source for the news they read, and creating new economic models to sustain a journalistic enterprise.

Bringing this much Google juice to their work will be a true accelerator and will hopefully blaze a trail for a new and powerful Fourth Estate.  Focusing American innovation on our media and its critical role in our Democracy – thanks, Google and Knight.  We’ll be watching for the outcomes of your efforts.

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