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Google News Initiative announces funding recipients

At the end of September, recipients of funding for the latest Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge for Europe were announced, with a focus on smaller newsrooms.

Google News Initiative announces funding recipients
Ludovic Blecher: “With 605 applicants from 38 countries, we were impressed by the diversity and the quality of the proposed projects.”

At the end of September Google News Initiative announced the 47 recipients of funding for their latest Innovation Challenge, with recipients spanning 21 countries.

Google says that their Innovation Challenges, which have previously run in other regions of the world, provide funding to help news organizations develop new paths to business sustainability. This particular challenge was open to smaller newsrooms.

Google announced Scotland’s Greater Govanhill CIC as a chosen recipient for funding, and said the following: “Greater Govanhill in Scotland is creating collaborative social media journalism by bringing independent groups together to service an area where coverage of local community issues has been overlooked.

“Right across Scotland, a wide range of independent local news publishers are providing communities with a vital service, sharing public interest news.

“Yet many are on the brink, surviving on little or no income thanks to the dedication of a few key individuals.

“We need to strengthen this sector, and collaboration is a key means of doing this. It will enable publishers to share skills, resources and information, strengthening the sector and exploring new revenue opportunities.”

Google expanded on a few other selected European projects who will receive funding:

  • Diario Público from Spain will tackle ageism by creating a news app specifically designed for the needs of elders.
  • Konbini in France will use gaming techniques to appeal to younger audiences, allowing them to explore cultural news content in a new way.
  • A consortium of regional Polish newspapers will collaborate to create an app that opens up direct communication between Ukrainian refugees and Ukrainian-speaking newsroom staff to provide dedicated news sections and events.
  • Novaya Gazeta Europe will research a better understanding of the Russian-speaking diaspora in Europe and share this knowledge with other media-in-exile by creating special tools and developing new forms of content.
  • Føljeton from Denmark wants to turn its subscribers into members by bringing together their currently separated subscriber and editorial systems into a new technology platform.

Ludovic Blecher, head of innovation at Google News Initiative said: “With 605 applicants from 38 countries, we were impressed by the diversity and the quality of the proposed projects.

“There were creative solutions to common business challenges, including news organizations engaging with more diverse audiences, and providing greater transparency into how powerful institutions such as businesses and governmental organizations operate.”

Google says the recipients will be working on their projects this winter, and will share their results when complete.

You can find out more about Google’s selected projects here.

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