back to article We applied to Google's €150m journalism fund – here's what we sent in

We here at El Reg were very excited on Friday morning to note the launch of a new €150m ($165m) journalism fund called the Digital News Initiative, funded by everyone's favorite news service, Google. The initiative's goal is to "support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation" and you are able to apply online …

  1. Lars Silver badge
    Happy

    A co-writer

    Try to get Noam Chomsky as a co-writer. And no, I'm not joking. Twenty years ago I felt there was a bit of hot air about him while to day I feel I did not listen.

    1. ItsNotMe
      Devil

      Re: A co-writer

      "Try to get Noam Chomsky as a co-writer."

      Wouldn't Rupert work just as well? I mean his publications have always "...supported high-quality journalism through technology and innovation..."...haven't they?

      Or do I have the wrong guy? Hmmmm.

  2. Anonymous Coward
  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Into the Apple Zone maybe...?

    I suspect that you might end up on the same "no comment, no response EVER" list that Apple has.

    1. Roq D. Kasba

      Re: Into the Apple Zone maybe...?

      I'm pretty sure El Reg is already on a few shit-lists, but it's important in any environment to have antagonists holding you to account so you up your game. Google should absolutely welcome this.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Into the Apple Zone maybe...?

      I forgot to do this on my post above. It was Friday night afterall. I meant to add the "thumbs up" icon... as in "good for you!" The world needs more shit-disturbers.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bound to get the job. That looks like an up-and-coming go-getter's curriculum vitae to me. And the holistic synergy was almost a paradigm of the virtual concept of wellness.

    If you need a reference, El Reg...

  5. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Well good for you for doing your strap line (biting the hand that feeds IT) - hopefully you mentioned that in your application.

  6. eldel

    Typo?

    >Stories exposing alleged wrongdoing at Google are unlikely to draw huge online audiences.

    >Advertisements placed on the same page as the stories would bring in significant income

    If they are unlikely to draw huge audiences where does the income come from. Jeez - you're asking for a 6 digit handout and you can't be bothered to proof read. Welcome to modern journalism.

    1. maffski

      Re: Typo?

      Huge != Significant

      For example:

      Significant - enough to cover the journo's for a night at the pub

      Huge - enough to cover the journo's outstanding bar tab

      1. Jungleland

        Re: Typo?

        Not a typo but a reading and comprehension test to see if the Googleites can see anything in the submission but "Advertisements placed on the same page as the stories would bring in significant income,"

    2. d3vy

      Re: Typo?

      "If they are unlikely to draw huge audiences where does the income come from."

      All that this suggests is that the adverts on the page may be capable of generating a decent income from a small number of views.

      Did you proof read/think before posting?

  7. thomas k

    including the specific outcome you want to achieve

    Umm, shouldn't the outcome be determined by the facts uncovered by investigation rather than structuring your investigation to support a pre-determined outcome?

    1. Vincent Ballard
      Boffin

      Re: including the specific outcome you want to achieve

      Thomas K, don't be so 20th century. Knowing what outcomes you'll achieve before you apply for funding is the way science and journalism work nowadays. After all, why would someone want to fund a project which isn't going to succeed?

      1. thomas k

        Re: including the specific outcome you want to achieve

        My bad; using "hope to" instead of "want to" would serve better then.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: including the specific outcome you want to achieve

      The facts are already established, this is simply an aggregation of them.

  8. Captain DaFt

    €250,000?

    This is Google we're talking about. Should have picked some mathematical number, like a multiple of Tau: €628,319.

    More money, plus the Geek cred.

    Or just gone for the cool million. In for a penny, etc, etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      628,319

      Ugh, 628,319 is actually two pi times 10^5.

      Approximately, of course - lest we are accused of being from Indiana (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Pi_Bill)

    2. Richard Tobin

      Re: €250,000?

      250,000 is (20 tau - 10)^4

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Superb! Don't forget to check claims of false advertising ('we do no evil'), their practice of spreading malware (Android) which makes life significantly easier for criminals using their advertising services to swipe personal details and empty bank accounts, so they're accessory to criminal acts. Then there's invasion of privacy and aiding stalkers. And you've years of experience, the right technical skills, and a large bunch of readers willing to help (sorting the crowdsourcing end of things). How can those lovely altruists at Google NOT think you'd be the perfect people to embark upon such a crusade against Google's evil empire?

    I soooooo hope Google gives El Reg the dosh for this. It'd brighten my entire year, never mind day! One can but hope...

    Right- off to DuckDuck Go for a spot of web-surfing...

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Unfortunately they won't be hiring, it's just enough to pay for the extra lunch expenses they need to meet their sources.

  11. Thought About IT

    Pot meet kettle

    I hope the irony of complaining about google pushing its agenda to the detriment of all else isn't lost on Page and Orlowski. Their anti-science agenda devalues all else they do here.

    1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

      Kettle meet pot

      On the contrary, Page is spot on with his debunking of "climate science" and alarmist reporting generally.

      Orlowski is a bit of a bore on copyright, but may be partially correct.

    2. Tim Worstal

      Re: Pot meet kettle

      "pushing its agenda to the detriment of all else isn't lost on Page"

      Most amusing.....

    3. Steven Raith

      Re: Pot meet kettle

      Since when was El Reg the first place most of the population go to to get information on things?

      Context, dear boy. Context.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Pot meet kettle

      "I hope the irony of complaining about google pushing its agenda to the detriment of all else isn't lost on Page and Orlowski. Their anti-science agenda devalues all else they do here."

      IIRC Lewis Page is Editor-in-Chief these days so he has final say on all the stories, including the ones giving opposing views to the stories under his own by-line. Maybe he just like trolling certain portions of the readership? :-)

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Pot meet kettle

        "IIRC Lewis Page is Editor-in-Chief these days "

        ...except I now hear that it's all change at the helm of HMS El Reg and Lewis, Tim and maybe one or two others have walked the plank :-(

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're walking into a trap

    A healthy organisation is always ready to welcome, and solicit, well-grounded criticism.

    An evil organisation knows how to play the game by throwing a bone to their detractors.

    If you do get funded, and there is a not insignificant chance, you have walked into a trap.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You're walking into a trap

      Exactly my thoughts.

      It's a good thing Google management doesn't have a detectable sense of humour. If I was running that show I would take El Reg up on this and use your reputation for my own as evidence of openness, whilst still feeding you BS.

      After all, El Reg and Situation Publishing still use Gmail and your websites use Google Analytics and DoubleClick tracking so keeping tabs on you would be easy.

      Unfortunately, I'm not dishonest enough (which is probably why I'm not CEO material).

      That aside, congratulations. This is funny, although I am wondering if things have gotten bad so that you actually need that sort of money..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You're walking into a trap

      Yup: exactly how they fucked Mozilla

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: You're walking into a trap

      "If you do get funded, and there is a not insignificant chance, you have walked into a trap."

      Yup. Google are masters of writing long and convoluted Ts&Cs and you can guarantee that any grant will come with a hefty Ts&Cs contract.

  13. fruitoftheloon
    Happy

    El Reg 'Premium'

    Fellow commentards, what say you we ask the powers that be if we can cut tonthe chase and have an ad-free premium el reg with whizzy features?

    I'd pay £5 a month, am I the only one (it wouldn't be the first time...?)

    Cheers,

    Jay

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: El Reg 'Premium'

      We could use Patreon (hopefully its tidied its security) to give funding for special journalistic projects.

      *a dummy news organization front to get them into Apple events (optimistic if they did it twice)

      *two [opposing] camps writing about the self-same subject (no cribbing each others work before simultaneous publishing)

      *article on subject chosen by poll of readers

      You get the idea

      Throw in occasional raffle for patrons ("wow, I won a mug"). What's not to like.

    2. Fibbles

      Re: El Reg 'Premium'

      A fiver per month is a bit steep considering how little they get in advertising per view.

      £15 a year sounds about right.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: El Reg 'Premium'

      In other topics along the line of Ad-blockers and advertising, we have asked. Deaf ears, I think.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    recaptcha.sucks and AdWords monopoly abuse

    Guys, you may wish to start with https://recaptcha.sucks and Google's AdWords monopoly abuse in an attempt to silence the critics of their search engine monopoly abuse.

    While since then they 'unblocked' the AdWords account used itself, and all the ads, they left the website itself 'blocked' on the false pretense that it is 'often unavailable' -- so the ads cannot run.

    And according to 'Pingdom' we have more than 99.99% of up-time.

    We believe it is an act of one of their internal 'informal social networks'.

    And according to our server logs and GA records it is executed by some dude employed in one of Google's Telangana state campuses in India.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: recaptcha.sucks and AdWords monopoly abuse

      Is Google also forcing your website not to use capital letters in proper names and at the start of sentences?

  15. Tromos

    I think it unlikely...

    ...that Google will come up with the dosh. However, Microsoft might be sorely tempted!

  16. Graham Marsden
    Trollface

    'goal is to "support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation"'

    So why is El Reg applying...?

    .

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    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    ;-)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Careful what you ask for

    Google is a very big place with diverse opinions. While many of them are insufferable Kool-Aid guzzlers and those who haven't been anywhere else to know any better, some of them are there with full awareness of their strange and creepy environment. They joined to perform extraordinary research, their former employer was acquired, or it's just a paying job. Those people know why each project exists and why the public can use them for free, and they would approve this before they even finished reading it.

    1. Grikath

      Re: Careful what you ask for

      one may hope... It would seriously tickle my funny bone ;)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Investigating abuses by Google

    it is entirely possible that they ok that, just because. Stranger things happen every day, like those rogue engineers running wifi-password sucking software...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    examples of where Google was abusing its market power

    has been, perhaps.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Headmaster

      Re: examples of where Google was abusing its market power

      You forgot your hat AC --->

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Immense Productivity

    If you can do even half of that for €250,000, many others will want to back you. Crowdsource funding via Kickstarter to build a crowdsourcing platform to kick Google.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You applied to the wrong place

    If you ask the RIAA, MPAA, Big Media MAAFIA, they'll happily supply funding needed to bring Google's "abuses" to light. It's in their best interest to do so...

  22. Tim99 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Funding

    If, for some reason, Google finds that they are unable to contribute, I could let you have €25. You only need 10,000 similar donations...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Funding

      Crowd-fund it... I reckon Reg could hit that target in hours...

  23. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Cyber Weaknesses are a Field of Cosmic Force to Servers with Secured Secret IntelAIgent Strength

    It is encouraging to imagine that stalwart El Regers fully enough realise the Great Phishing and Phorming Game which Google is playing.

    Seed and feed the Virtual Machine news and tit-qubits it ignores and declines to finance reveals its zeroday vulnerability exploit flash crash pressure points.

    And that beats tilting at windmills, El Reg, with an eloquent raging at the machine.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Cyber Weaknesses are a Field of Cosmic Force to Servers with Secured Secret IntelAIgent Strength

      Oh, and should not ....

      Stories exposing alleged wrongdoing at Google are unlikely to draw huge online audiences. Advertisements placed on the same page as the stories would bring in significant income, i.e., traditional online news revenue.

      ...... be written when true, in order to make greater sense and direct significant income elsewhere whenever the free choice is made to utilise other search engines .....

      Stories exposing alleged wrongdoing at Google are likely to draw huge online audiences. Advertisements placed on the same page as the stories would bring in significant income, i.e., traditional online news revenue, to virtual peering and pioneering non traditional online media news streams

      And should one then discover an A list blacklsting and subsequent rapid removal from, or prime place relegation in the smart targeted search engine listings, is non state actor censorship in a capitalist state sponsored and sponsoring enterprise fully proven and universally exposed and highlighted and made ready for exploitation and Deep Thought Strip MetaDataBase Mining?

      And surely that is more something of a heaven sent opportunity for pioneering investors in a petrified free trading market place stagnating in dark pools of incompetently developed purloined intellectual property space ..... and beyond, than anything else and lesser.

      1. David Pollard
        Pint

        Re: Cyber Weaknesses are a Field of Cosmic Force to Servers with Secured Secret IntelAIgent Strength

        stagnating in dark pools of incompetently developed purloined intellectual property space

        He's been readin' poetry again.

  24. phil dude
    Pint

    here's a suggestion for journo 101

    How about every published news source having a displayed mechanisms showing changes?

    It is amazing how many articles (especially the BBC) that just get changed with absolutely no way of know *what* was changed.

    We live in an era that mass information has become the plausible means of mass mis-information.

    Perhaps Google can fix that first?

    Once we get HTTPS everywhere, of course...

    P.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Problem solved ..... or platform just launched?

      Hi, phil dude,

      Are you looking for something like this .......... http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/versions

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Pint

        Re: Problem solved ..... or platform just launched?

        Oh, I like that. Now a real-time highlighter for updates might be in order (who posted a new version).

  25. FreeTheInternet

    google is just a search engine provider at its core and yet it has completely taken over almost everything we do with regard to websites. It dictates everything about how we must act according to its rules and regulations when it comes to our rightful place on the internet. Who appointed them the world wide internet gestapo? Because that's what they have become! I'm sick to death of having to cow-tow to the demands they impose on website owners as if the internet is theirs to control. It isn't. It belongs to the people of the world, not bloody google and it's constant big brother machinations to control websites. Who are they to decide what is acceptable and what isn't? Since when were they appointed the almighty dictators of the internet.

    Just when you think you've got your website fairly and squarely ranked and you've jumped through all the hoops to get there at considerable cost in terms of time, effort and money, they get on their high horse and decide, for the whole world without even asking us if we mind, things aren't good enough and they have to change. Our websites lose rank, the traffic dries up and you have to start all over again. Why do we pay heed?

    Consider the myriad of things you have to do just to curry google favour so your internet presence is maintained. It's all based on scurrying around like an obedient slave desperate to please its master. google has become our internet master and we its slaves.

    We should be dictating to google what we want from them instead of having to follow their every decision like sheep. We pay their wages. Without us they go bankrupt and yet we all bend over and assume the position every time they feel like changing their minds. Why?

    They don't own the internet yet they act like they do and we all swallow everything they throw at us without question.

    I, for one, am tired of being dictated to by a company that doesn't have the right to do so. The origin of the internet was to have a free, open source flow of information available to the global community and, somehow, google has taken it over and monopolised it and now we're stuck with them telling us all what to do.

    As far as I'm concerned, **** you google!!!

  26. Paul Woodhouse

    hmm, I really wouldn't be surprised if Google call you out on that one and offer to fund it... :)

  27. Stevie

    Bah!

    Finally! Some non-trivial journalism from El Reg.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You could kickstart 250K for such an important initiative.

  29. Mark Wallace

    I hate to state the obvious, but...

    Given that:

    • Google is an American corporation.

    • Americans* just don't get satire, irony, sarcasm, sardonicism, etc.

    • Anything an American* doesn't understand is considered as a threat to his ability to bullsh1t his way to the top, so those who do understand it are treated as enemies.

    A man is judged by the quality of his enemies.

    El Reg must be a pretty damned good guy.

    * The ones from the USA, that is. Canadian, Brazilian, Guatemalan, etc. Americans exhibit no such disability/psychopathy.

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