Google says it cares about the survival of the news. The company could have sat back and counted its billions of dollars in search and auction ads, but instead it's also created programs like Google News, Fast Flip, YouTube Direct and Living Pages to organize and enhance news coverage. If news organizations stop producing great journalism, Google says, there will be nothing interesting to search.

And now, it's putting even more money where its mouth is, by creating a new $5 million sweepstakes for innovative journalism ideas:

We're giving $5 million in grants to non-profit organizations that are working to develop new approaches to journalism in the digital age. Our aim is to benefit news publishers of all sizes.

We've granted $2 million to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has a proven track record of supporting programs that drive innovation in journalism. It will use $1 million to support U.S. grant-making in this crucial area. The other $1 million will augment the Knight News Challenge, which is accepting funding proposals from anyone, anywhere in the world, until December 1. Now in its fifth year, the News Challenge has supported projects like DocumentCloud, which aims to bring more investigative-reporting source material online so anyone can find and read it.

Read the full story at the Google Blog. For background, check out Jim Fallows' article "How to Save the News."

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