Search monopoly Google has learned a painful lesson in last year’s U.S. presidential election. For all its perceived online influence on American thinking and decision-making, it miserably failed to help and boost the chances of its chosen candidate that best espouse its left and liberal politics - Democrat Hillary Clinton. So now, Google is turning to good, old journalism and training traditional journalists for an ambitious project.
Google is embarking on a 5-year plan where they will fund 1,000 aspiring, liberal, left journalists into America’s local media markets. The project will be managed by Google News Lab who will be working with Report For America (RFA) to hire 1,000 journalists all over the U.S.
Many local newsrooms, due to a variety of reasons, top of which has been economic, have been forced to downsize to the point of being in a critical status close to shutting down. Next year, however, some may even get the opportunity to not only stay alive, but to actually rebuild.
Google officially announced their new project on Monday, aiming to put 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms in the next five years. RFA has taken inspiration from existing organizations like the Peace Corps., Americorps, Teach for America and public media. Unlike these organizations, though, RFA stands to receive no funding from the government.
Emerging journalists will have to apply to be part of RFA. Newsrooms, too, will apply for a journalist. RFA will shoulder half of the journalist’s salary, with the newsrooms expected to give their contribution of 25 percent, while the rest of the 25 percent will be shouldered by local donors. The reporter would have to complete one year of work at the local newsroom s/he eventually will sign on. There will also be a chance to renew the contract for the journalist after a year.
Co-founder Charless Sennott, founder and CEO of the GroundTruth Project said: “’I think journalism needs that kind of passion for public service to bring it back and to really address some of the ailments of the heart of journalism.”
The project organizers want Americans to believe that the project’s various funders would mean it can keep as much as independence as possible. Then again, one need not be a genius to analyze that primary funder of the journalistic program is the Google News Lab. And the supposedly independent RFA has in its Advisory Board a number of “reputable”, “impartial” news organization like the New York Times, NPR, CBS, ABC, etc.
In short, it is a project that will be run by liberal mainstream media practitioners to better push for a liberal, left-wing agenda.