Google awards more than €21m to journalism projects

Media giant funds over 100 projects across all areas of media.

Google has awarded more than €21m to 107 journalism projects in 27 countries across EuropeIn the third round of the Digital News Initiative (DNI) fund.

The recipients of the funding are being announced today (6 July) at a DNI Fund conference in Amsterdam, and range from prototypes to medium and large projects.

“I know that [publishers] are lacking time to step back from the day-to-day activities to experiment and innovate, so that is what we are trying to do with this fund,” Ludovic Blecher, head of the DNI fund, told event attendees.

“In round one for example, we looked at how to do virtual reality at scale, then in round two, how to monetise VR – it shows how the industry is moving forward.”

Some of the areas European news organisations have been focusing on in this round include fact-checking, investigative reporting, and virtual and augmented reality.

Just under half of the projects funded are collaborative, with 47 per cent of the initiatives produced in partnership between multiple organisations and across different countries.

The largest amount of funding went to Germany (€3.6m), followed by the UK (€2.5m), Spain (€1.9m), France (€1.5m), Portugal (€1.2m) and Poland (€1.1m).

Among the UK-based projects funded are: WikiTribune, the new platform launched by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, aiming to get readers and journalists to work side by side in a virtual newsroom; Verifeye Media, which is working to develop mobile apps and a verification engine to support journalists in verifying user-generated content; and AJ Labs, the London-based arm of Al Jazeera International, to build an open-source storytelling app where readers use messaging to get the news; and a joint project from Press Association and Urbs Media called RADAR (Reporters and data and robots), which aims to produce up to 30,000 localised stories each month for local news organisations using open data sets.

Google is also publishing the first DNI Fund report today, with insihts into the projects funded in round one and two, and how they have developed in the meantime.

Previous projects include a personalised news app developed by Swiss daily newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung; two automated fact-checking tools from Full Fact; OpenDataCity’s xMinutes app which uses sensors to reach people with news depending on the time of day and whether they are driving or at home; and P24, a personalised audio catch-up from Portugese paper Público.

The fourth round of the fund is set to open in early September, with the company saying in a press release that there will be some changes made to the application process based on the feedback received from participants.

Written by Madalina Ciobanu, 6 July, 2017, published on journalism.co.uk. Read the full article here

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