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Source: DGB – BundesvorstandPM 062 – 10/26/2020New DGB / OBS studyMedia patron Google: How the data company ensnares journalismScientists and journalists Ingo Dachwitz and Alexander Fanta have in the study “Medienmäzen Google. How the data company ensnares journalism ”analyzes how and why Google has given away more than 200 million euros to European media since 2013 and what effects these donations have on the independence of the German media landscape. The study was funded by the Otto Brenner Foundation (OBS) and the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB). While Google vehemently refuses to allow the press to share in its advertising revenue, the technology group supports the industry in a variety of ways – by financing innovation projects from sponsored industry events to free training courses and fellowships. The study documents how Google’s millions of subsidies increase the imbalance in the industry and how the grants change the political relations between the “giant from Silicon Valley” and the German media houses. DGB Chairman Reiner Hoffmann said on Monday in Berlin about the publication of the study : “The press code demands that we avoid the appearance that the freedom of choice of publishers and editorial offices could be impaired. At Google, ‘appearance’ is worth millions. The media industry should stop this dangerous undesirable development, make funding amounts transparent and immediately look for ways of innovation that less endanger its independence. News media in particular have an important and responsible role in a democratic society “. Jupp Legrand, Managing Director of the Otto Brenner Foundation, said on Monday in Frankfurt:” Google is now the world’s greatest journalism patron. It is not only in Germany that media companies that are under enormous pressure to innovate are accepting the help of this group, which is at the same time business partner, competitor and object of reporting. Under these conditions, cooperation on equal terms is not possible. ”The study results are based on a data analysis of the more than 140 million euros that Google distributed to 645 innovation projects of European publishers between 2015 and 2019 as part of the Digital News Initiative (DNI). In addition, 25 anonymous interviews were conducted with managers and digital journalists in German news media, including Spiegel, Zeit Online and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The study is supplemented by a survey among some German media on the use of Google products and an interview with the Google managers of the European news initiative.

Further information and the study for download:

Since 2013, Google has invested hundreds of millions in projects with European publishing houses in Europe – not only in technological developments, but also in research projects and journalism congresses. The US company is now the world’s largest journalism patron. Why is Google doing this? And what does that mean for independent journalism? The Otto Brenner Foundation has put the tech giant’s activities under the microscope in a project in cooperation with the DGB.

DGB / / M.Yenelyanoc; U. Krylin

New study by DGB and Otto Brenner Foundation: media patron Google, the Internet giant has invested more than 200 million euros in European journalism since 2013, with the lion’s share going to Germany. In addition to technology and research funding, Google finances journalism congresses and training stays for young journalists at renowned media. Why is the technology company doing this? The scientists and network journalists Ingo Dachwitz and Alexander Fanta describe the facets of a complex “ecosystem” of media publishers, editorial offices and data groups, evaluate current data on financial donations and ask actors on both sides about funding practices. The study was funded by the Otto Brenner Foundation and the DGB. It shows the methods used by Google to ensnare the media and invites you to discuss alternative forms of promoting innovation.





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