Both Google and Facebook may argue—and may even believe—that they simply want to help increase the supply of quality journalism in the world. But the fact remains that they are not just disinterested observers. They are multibillion-dollar entities that compete directly with media companies for the attention of users, and for the wallets of every advertising company that used to help support the business model of journalism. Their funding and assistance can’t be disentangled from their conflicted interests, no matter how much they wish it could.
Google has been really pushing into journalism lately, with the further investment of News Lab and the Digital News Initiative, as well as the ability to subscribe using your Google account. This in part seems to be in response to Facebook’s problems.