Author Archives: Ludovic Blecher

Fostering innovation in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa

As part of our continuous effort to support the news industry around the world, we are launching our second Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. It’s an open call for projects that increase reader engagement and explore new business models to build a stronger future for journalism.

Last year, we selected 21 projects from 13 countries: Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan, UAE, Iraq, Turkey, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Nigeria and Ghana. In South Africa, online news publisher Daily Maverick developed a “relevancy engine” for small and medium publishers to help them better understand reader insights and increase relevancy and increase subscriptions. In Jordan, podcast startup Sowt developed a new hosting platform for Arabic news podcasts. You can find out more about all of last year's recipients in this Keyword post.

Round 1 recipients Food for Mzansi showing their support

Round 1 recipients Food for Mzansi showing their support

Applications are open from now until April 12. Established publishers, online-only players, news startups, publisher consortia and local industry associations are all eligible to apply. Projects will be evaluated against five criteria: impact on the news ecosystem, innovation, diversity, equity and inclusion; inspiration; and feasibility. The selected projects will be eligible to receive up to $150,000, not to exceed70%of the total project cost. We will not be funding any editorial-only projects, but instead are focusing on projects aimed at increasing reader engagement and exploring new business models. 

How to apply

Applications, in English only, must be made online via our website and are open until Monday, April 12 at 23:59 GMT. We will also be holding an online town hallon March 3 at 13.00 GMT with a live presentation and the opportunity to ask questions. (Please note that Google does not take any equity or IP in any projects or submissions.) 

We are looking forward to seeing new ideas, projects and big bets come out of the Middle East, Turkey and Africa, a region rich with talent, potential and opportunity. For more information about the challenge, visit g.co/newsinnovation

We supported 662 journalism projects in Europe

Five years ago, as we saw news publishers shifting towards digital formats and trying new ways of doing things in the internet era, we set up the Digital News Innovation (DNI) Fund to promote innovation and quality journalism. The €150 million program ran until 2019 and supported 662 digital news projects across Europe. Today we’re releasing a final impact report to show where the funds went and how publishers used them.

DNI Fund - 662 Projects, €150M Fund

Applicants were able to pitch for projects of up to €1 million, focusing on the most pressing issues identified by the news industry: boosting digital revenue, telling local stories, battling misinformation and exploring new technologies. And because we know that many advances only come after some experimentation, individuals and organizations were also able to apply for smaller prototype projects and utilize funding of up to €50,000. 

We saw a wide variety of approaches from some of the biggest names in the industry as well as relative newcomers. The vast majority of the funds went directly to publishers, with the remaining 6 percent going to overhead costs such as project monitoring, information sharing and reporting. Here are a few of the projects: 


  • Le Monde in France created a three-tier subscription model that has increased its digital subscribers by 40 percent since the start of 2020.

  • In the UK, Archant has digitized its 150-year-old archive with the help of 900 community volunteers, and created a voice-activated service where readers and other publishers can access stories and information.

  • Germany’s CrowdNewsroom used crowdsourcing to deliver verifiable facts on important local topics in the absence of official public information.

  • By building a shield against bots and trolls, Edge NPD in Poland has helped protect readers, publishers and advertisers globally from the negative impact of fake traffic, saving the industry tens of billions of euros per year.

  • SESAAB, the Italian publisher of L’Eco di Bergamo newspaper, used artificial intelligence to create personalised newsletters and online content recommendations.

  • Digital news publisher Observador's podcast and radio offerings have gained 25 percent of the total audio on-demand market in Portugal. Live feeds from its website and app reach a monthly audience of over 180,000, and its podcasts are consistently ranked among the country’s 50 most popular.

  • Debunk EU from DELFI, the largest online news publisher operating across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, is an initiative to tackle fake news online using a combination of artificial intelligence techniques and a dedicated community of volunteers. The company has now formed partnerships with organizations in 17 countries. 

DNI funding supported projects in Europe to tackle four key industry challenges

The projects supported by the DNI Fund reflect the diversity of the media landscape in Europe, from small local outlets to large cross-border publishing operations. During many conversations with our partners in the European news industry, we’ve seen how they used the funds to help foster creativity in their newsrooms, invest in technology tailored to their particular needs and calibrate new sustainable business approaches for journalism.  


The news industry’s shift towards digital will take time, and its need for support doesn’t end with the DNI Fund. That’s why we launched the Google News Initiative (GNI) two years ago, a $300 million commitment to help journalism thrive. As of today, the GNI has awarded a total of $54.3 million to European news organizations. We look forward to seeing the results, and learning more about how we can best support the industry.

We supported 662 journalism projects in Europe

Five years ago, as we saw news publishers shifting towards digital formats and trying new ways of doing things in the internet era, we set up the Digital News Innovation (DNI) Fund to promote innovation and quality journalism. The €150 million program ran until 2019 and supported 662 digital news projects across Europe. Today we’re releasing a final impact report to show where the funds went and how publishers used them.

DNI Fund - 662 Projects, €150M Fund

Applicants were able to pitch for projects of up to €1 million, focusing on the most pressing issues identified by the news industry: boosting digital revenue, telling local stories, battling misinformation and exploring new technologies. And because we know that many advances only come after some experimentation, individuals and organizations were also able to apply for smaller prototype projects and utilize funding of up to €50,000. 

We saw a wide variety of approaches from some of the biggest names in the industry as well as relative newcomers. The vast majority of the funds went directly to publishers, with the remaining 6 percent going to overhead costs such as project monitoring, information sharing and reporting. Here are a few of the projects: 


  • Le Monde in France created a three-tier subscription model that has increased its digital subscribers by 40 percent since the start of 2020.

  • In the UK, Archant has digitized its 150-year-old archive with the help of 900 community volunteers, and created a voice-activated service where readers and other publishers can access stories and information.

  • Germany’s CrowdNewsroom used crowdsourcing to deliver verifiable facts on important local topics in the absence of official public information.

  • By building a shield against bots and trolls, Edge NPD in Poland has helped protect readers, publishers and advertisers globally from the negative impact of fake traffic, saving the industry tens of billions of euros per year.

  • SESAAB, the Italian publisher of L’Eco di Bergamo newspaper, used artificial intelligence to create personalised newsletters and online content recommendations.

  • Digital news publisher Observador's podcast and radio offerings have gained 25 percent of the total audio on-demand market in Portugal. Live feeds from its website and app reach a monthly audience of over 180,000, and its podcasts are consistently ranked among the country’s 50 most popular.

  • Debunk EU from DELFI, the largest online news publisher operating across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, is an initiative to tackle fake news online using a combination of artificial intelligence techniques and a dedicated community of volunteers. The company has now formed partnerships with organizations in 17 countries. 

DNI funding supported projects in Europe to tackle four key industry challenges

The projects supported by the DNI Fund reflect the diversity of the media landscape in Europe, from small local outlets to large cross-border publishing operations. During many conversations with our partners in the European news industry, we’ve seen how they used the funds to help foster creativity in their newsrooms, invest in technology tailored to their particular needs and calibrate new sustainable business approaches for journalism.  


The news industry’s shift towards digital will take time, and its need for support doesn’t end with the DNI Fund. That’s why we launched the Google News Initiative (GNI) two years ago, a $300 million commitment to help journalism thrive. As of today, the GNI has awarded a total of $54.3 million to European news organizations. We look forward to seeing the results, and learning more about how we can best support the industry.

We supported 662 journalism projects in Europe

Five years ago, as we saw news publishers shifting towards digital formats and trying new ways of doing things in the internet era, we set up the Digital News Innovation (DNI) Fund to promote innovation and quality journalism. The €150 million program ran until 2019 and supported 662 digital news projects across Europe. Today we’re releasing a final impact report to show where the funds went and how publishers used them.

DNI Fund - 662 Projects, €150M Fund

Applicants were able to pitch for projects of up to €1 million, focusing on the most pressing issues identified by the news industry: boosting digital revenue, telling local stories, battling misinformation and exploring new technologies. And because we know that many advances only come after some experimentation, individuals and organizations were also able to apply for smaller prototype projects and utilize funding of up to €50,000. 

We saw a wide variety of approaches from some of the biggest names in the industry as well as relative newcomers. The vast majority of the funds went directly to publishers, with the remaining 6 percent going to overhead costs such as project monitoring, information sharing and reporting. Here are a few of the projects: 


  • Le Monde in France created a three-tier subscription model that has increased its digital subscribers by 40 percent since the start of 2020.

  • In the UK, Archant has digitized its 150-year-old archive with the help of 900 community volunteers, and created a voice-activated service where readers and other publishers can access stories and information.

  • Germany’s CrowdNewsroom used crowdsourcing to deliver verifiable facts on important local topics in the absence of official public information.

  • By building a shield against bots and trolls, Edge NPD in Poland has helped protect readers, publishers and advertisers globally from the negative impact of fake traffic, saving the industry tens of billions of euros per year.

  • SESAAB, the Italian publisher of L’Eco di Bergamo newspaper, used artificial intelligence to create personalised newsletters and online content recommendations.

  • Digital news publisher Observador's podcast and radio offerings have gained 25 percent of the total audio on-demand market in Portugal. Live feeds from its website and app reach a monthly audience of over 180,000, and its podcasts are consistently ranked among the country’s 50 most popular.

  • Debunk EU from DELFI, the largest online news publisher operating across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, is an initiative to tackle fake news online using a combination of artificial intelligence techniques and a dedicated community of volunteers. The company has now formed partnerships with organizations in 17 countries. 

DNI funding supported projects in Europe to tackle four key industry challenges

The projects supported by the DNI Fund reflect the diversity of the media landscape in Europe, from small local outlets to large cross-border publishing operations. During many conversations with our partners in the European news industry, we’ve seen how they used the funds to help foster creativity in their newsrooms, invest in technology tailored to their particular needs and calibrate new sustainable business approaches for journalism.  


The news industry’s shift towards digital will take time, and its need for support doesn’t end with the DNI Fund. That’s why we launched the Google News Initiative (GNI) two years ago, a $300 million commitment to help journalism thrive. As of today, the GNI has awarded a total of $54.3 million to European news organizations. We look forward to seeing the results, and learning more about how we can best support the industry.

What emergency funding means for publishers around the world

Established in 1904 in Oklahoma, the Lawton Constitution is one of more than 5,600 recipients of the Google News Initiative Journalism Emergency Relief Fund (JERF). Committed to serving local community journalism, the newspaper’s publisher, David Stringer, knows how difficult it is to fulfill its mission even with best intentions. “No matter how low the cost, we know that some residents want to read the paper but simply can’t afford it,” he says. So the Lawton Constitution has used JERF funds to subsidize half the cost of a subscription for those in need who want to stay informed, giving the community access to important information and building relationships for the future.

In South Korea, Kim Hong-tak from the Jeonnam Ilbo is using JERF funds to highlight the resilience of the local businesses affected by COVID-19. The publication has created a designated column focused on local small and medium sized businesses to highlight their strengths and values and serve as a bridge to connect them to the right government agencies for further support.

In the United Kingdom, DC Thomson used the funding to support new content teams to help generate 10,000 subscribers during lockdown. In Argentina, El Diario published an editorialdescribing how the funding will allow them “to continue..to keep the voices of the city and the region alive”. And, In Canada, Narcity Media will use the funds to increase their staff by hiring at least 1-2 new reporters. 

These are a handful of stories among many we received since launching JERF in April. When COVID-19 was turning the world upside down, we didn’t know what to expect. The intent was simple: help address a very real need from local publishers and news sites globally that are facing financial hardship as a result of the economic and advertising downturn. 

In the last few months, we have provided $39.5 million in funding to more than 5600 publishers in 115 countries. The money is being applied in diverse and creative ways, from ensuring basic reporting needs and giving emergency stipends to allow reporters to cover the crisis, to driving audience engagement and generating subscriptions.

Journalism Emergency Relief Fund infographic 1.jpg

Within two weeks of our announcement, we received more than 12,000 applications. The massive response gave us the opportunity to understand what “local” means in different parts of the world, and how dynamics ranging from newsroom size to ownership structure can differ depending on the region and the kinds of communities served. For instance, the average newsroom size varied from 20 in Asia Pacific to eight in North America. 

Journalism Emergency Relief Fund infographic 2.jpg

We learned from publishers that advertising continues to be the sole source of revenue for most JERF recipients, with 50 percent claiming to be totally advertising dependent. A survey we carried out also showed that less than 30 percent of recipients operate some form of a paywall, while less than 18 percent rely on community contributions or memberships to support their journalism. That situation is changing, though, with 60 percent of the recipients planning to diversify their revenue streams by developing subscription, membership or contribution models. 


Additionally, around 20 percent of publishers told us they are prioritizing a need for cultural change that includes a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion as well as organizational and business management.


The pandemic has affected everyone, and local news organizations have been at the forefront in helping their communities navigate COVID-19. At the Google News Initiative, we are trying to play our part with this funding and other initiatives as we all work towards the common goal of a sustainable, innovative and diverse news industry globally.

Providing emergency funding for 5,300+ local news organizations

COVID-19 has upended the news industry, hitting local news particularly hard with job losses, furloughs, cutbacks and even closure. To provide some help, last month the Google News Initiative launched the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund. Today we’re announcing that more than 5,300 small and medium local newsrooms around the world will receive funding ranging from $5,000 - $30,000. Applications covering a number of publications under one organization will be capped at $85,000. As we await a final funding tally, we expect to spend tens of millions of dollars through the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund. 

In just two weeks we received more than 12,000 applications from 140 eligible countries, with 90 percent of those applications from newsrooms of less than 26 journalists. We reviewed each application against a set of criteria: publications operating locally, serving a specific geographic community and using the money to continue doing so. More than 300 Googlers joined forces to check the submissions and across the world we held dozens of webinars and office hours to answer questions and guide people through the process. 

About 50 percent of the applications didn’t meet the publicly established criteria. Reasons varied from not producing core news (i.e., lifestyle or sports news) to employing less than 2 journalists. The goal was to be as inclusive as possible while sticking to the eligibility rules. We still have a small percentage of projects to review but below our teams have provided a snapshot of some of the recipients and how they plan to spend the funding.


WORLD@2x (3).png

North America:Chris Jansen, Head of U.S. News & Publishing

As we read their stories, we were struck by the number of news organizations in the U.S. and Canada  keeping their communities informed with fewer than 10 full-time employees. As small businesses, many applicants are trying to figure out how to keep the lights on, literally and figuratively. They’re passionate about providing high-quality journalism, and it’s an honor to support them during such a critical point.

  • The Daily Memphian (Memphis, TN, U.S.) will continue to produce 20-30 daily stories focused on issues around COVID-19 and its impact on the poor and on African American communities.

  • Chestnut Hill Local (Northwest Philadelphia, PA, U.S.): will replace their “archaic website” with a new platform to get content online more quickly and more often. 

  • The Discourse Cowichan (Canada) serves a rural region on Vancouver Island, B.C., including Cowichan Tribes, the largest First Nation in the region. It will increase reporting capacity to cover the impact of COVID on vulnerable communities.

  • Madison365 (Madison, WI, U.S.) focuses on communities of color in Wisconsin. It will use funds for additional journalists, video content production and server capacity to provide rapid response coverage on issues impacting people of color across the state.

  • WTIP North Shore Community Radio’s (Grand Marais, MN, U.S.) emergency response organizations rely on WTIP to broadcast lifesaving information. WTIP will keep its news team employed and on the air, delivering live and local broadcasting throughout the crisis. 

Europe, the Middle East, and Africa: Mark Peters, Director, EMEA Partnerships 

We received applications from 88 countries, and so far we’ve offered funding to more than 1550 publishers, each demonstrating the diversity and strength of local communities and the journalists that continue to serve them through the crisis.

  • Mediacités’ (France) fact-checking tool “Veracités” has seen a huge increase in questions from local readers but can currently only answer 10 percent of them. The fund will allow them to invest in the tool and answer more peoples’ questions. 

  • Eco di Bergamo (Italy) Data journalism techniques have helped local communities understand what’s happening in the Bergamo area which suffered heavy losses during the crisis. Funding will be used to increase investment in new means of production (video, audio, photo, data) to give readers a deeper more analytical knowledge of what’s happening in their territory. 

  • Bihoreanul(Romania) intends to provide information necessary to fight the spread of COVID-19, and talk about the consequences of the pandemic to its readers.

  • Rochdale online (UK) will keep their journalists working during the crisis. They’ll focus on helping the community understand the latest advice on COVID-19 and promote the work of local businesses, charities and volunteers.

  • Baraka FM (Kenya) will focus on on-air campaigns to encourage listeners to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They’ll buy personal protective equipment to keep reporters safe when conducting interviews and give emergency stipends to reporters who’ve traveled to cover special reports.

Asia Pacific: Rohan Tiwary, Head of Media, News & Entertainment Partnerships, APAC

Asia Pacific has dealt with COVID-19 for longer than any other region—since January, in some places—so we know how urgently this support is needed.  When we looked at the more than 2,000 applications, we considered Asia Pacific’s enormous diversity—not just across ethnicities, religions and languages, but also in terms of the news landscape. We’re supporting more than 800 news organizations in 30 countries and territories, a few examples below.

  • The Murray Pioneer (Australia) will set up two online meeting rooms so they can communicate with remote journalists, local governments and interest groups. Their advertising department will also maintain virtual contact with clients and coordinate campaigns more effectively.

  • Saitama Shimbun (Japan), a 75-year old newspaper covering the Saitama prefecture, plans to detail the impact of the pandemic to preserve a record for future generations.

  • Suara Surabaya (Indonesia) goes beyond being a news portal, allowing readers to submit complaints like a public service hotline and working with stakeholders to find solutions. They will use funding to bridge cash flow impacted by COVID-19.

  • Minnambalam (India), a Tamil language publication from Chennai, will be able to keep their newsroom going, the funding giving them the confidence and financial support needed to carry on with their work.

  • East Mojo (India), a digital-only news organization, plans to allow journalists to go to remote parts of Northern India to shed light on the impact of COVID-19 once the country’s lockdown is lifted. 


Latin America:  Camilo Gomez - Online Partnerships Group Lead, LATAM

The process behind reviewing each of the 2,000+ applications in the region was an opportunity to connect with the amazing journalism and stories that support local communities.

  • Agencia Amazonia(Brazil) will support Project #CoberturaCovid19Amazônia, which investigates the socio-cultural impact of the coronavirus on traditional populations in the Amazon region, giving priority to stories about indigenous, quilombolas and riverside dwellers.

  • El Colombiano (Colombia) will maintain the quality and resources that characterize the  journalism of Medellin newspaper (the second most important city in the country).

  • La Discusion (Chile) will help finance an integrated radio-digital platform, developing informative, interpretive and opinion content across a variety of subjects like health, minorities, education, and sports etc that have been affected by COVID-19.

  • El Imparcial (México) will drive their strategic business plan, which includes improving multimedia content, newsroom training and growing their community. 

Today’s news builds on a number of otherefforts we’ve recently made in light of the pandemic. The GNI will announce more in the coming weeks and of course continue working to help the industry towards a more sustainable future in an ever increasingly digital world. 


Providing emergency funding for 5,300+ local news organizations

COVID-19 has upended the news industry, hitting local news particularly hard with job losses, furloughs, cutbacks and even closure. To provide some help, last month the Google News Initiative launched the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund. Today we’re announcing that more than 5,300 small and medium local newsrooms around the world will receive funding ranging from $5,000 - $30,000. Applications covering a number of publications under one organization will be capped at $85,000. As we await a final funding tally, we expect to spend tens of millions of dollars through the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund. 

In just two weeks we received more than 12,000 applications from 140 eligible countries, with 90 percent of those applications from newsrooms of less than 26 journalists. We reviewed each application against a set of criteria: publications operating locally, serving a specific geographic community and using the money to continue doing so. More than 300 Googlers joined forces to check the submissions and across the world we held dozens of webinars and office hours to answer questions and guide people through the process. 

About 50 percent of the applications didn’t meet the publicly established criteria. Reasons varied from not producing core news (i.e., lifestyle or sports news) to employing less than 2 journalists. The goal was to be as inclusive as possible while sticking to the eligibility rules. We still have a small percentage of projects to review but below our teams have provided a snapshot of some of the recipients and how they plan to spend the funding.


WORLD@2x (3).png

North America:Chris Jansen, Head of U.S. News & Publishing

As we read their stories, we were struck by the number of news organizations in the U.S. and Canada  keeping their communities informed with fewer than 10 full-time employees. As small businesses, many applicants are trying to figure out how to keep the lights on, literally and figuratively. They’re passionate about providing high-quality journalism, and it’s an honor to support them during such a critical point.

  • The Daily Memphian (Memphis, TN, U.S.) will continue to produce 20-30 daily stories focused on issues around COVID-19 and its impact on the poor and on African American communities.

  • Chestnut Hill Local (Northwest Philadelphia, PA, U.S.): will replace their “archaic website” with a new platform to get content online more quickly and more often. 

  • The Discourse Cowichan (Canada) serves a rural region on Vancouver Island, B.C., including Cowichan Tribes, the largest First Nation in the region. It will increase reporting capacity to cover the impact of COVID on vulnerable communities.

  • Madison365 (Madison, WI, U.S.) focuses on communities of color in Wisconsin. It will use funds for additional journalists, video content production and server capacity to provide rapid response coverage on issues impacting people of color across the state.

  • WTIP North Shore Community Radio’s (Grand Marais, MN, U.S.) emergency response organizations rely on WTIP to broadcast lifesaving information. WTIP will keep its news team employed and on the air, delivering live and local broadcasting throughout the crisis. 

Europe, the Middle East, and Africa: Mark Peters, Director, EMEA Partnerships 

We received applications from 88 countries, and so far we’ve offered funding to more than 1550 publishers, each demonstrating the diversity and strength of local communities and the journalists that continue to serve them through the crisis.

  • Mediacités’ (France) fact-checking tool “Veracités” has seen a huge increase in questions from local readers but can currently only answer 10 percent of them. The fund will allow them to invest in the tool and answer more peoples’ questions. 

  • Eco di Bergamo (Italy) Data journalism techniques have helped local communities understand what’s happening in the Bergamo area which suffered heavy losses during the crisis. Funding will be used to increase investment in new means of production (video, audio, photo, data) to give readers a deeper more analytical knowledge of what’s happening in their territory. 

  • Bihoreanul(Romania) intends to provide information necessary to fight the spread of COVID-19, and talk about the consequences of the pandemic to its readers.

  • Rochdale online (UK) will keep their journalists working during the crisis. They’ll focus on helping the community understand the latest advice on COVID-19 and promote the work of local businesses, charities and volunteers.

  • Baraka FM (Kenya) will focus on on-air campaigns to encourage listeners to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They’ll buy personal protective equipment to keep reporters safe when conducting interviews and give emergency stipends to reporters who’ve traveled to cover special reports.

Asia Pacific: Rohan Tiwary, Head of Media, News & Entertainment Partnerships, APAC

Asia Pacific has dealt with COVID-19 for longer than any other region—since January, in some places—so we know how urgently this support is needed.  When we looked at the more than 2,000 applications, we considered Asia Pacific’s enormous diversity—not just across ethnicities, religions and languages, but also in terms of the news landscape. We’re supporting more than 800 news organizations in 30 countries and territories, a few examples below.

  • The Murray Pioneer (Australia) will set up two online meeting rooms so they can communicate with remote journalists, local governments and interest groups. Their advertising department will also maintain virtual contact with clients and coordinate campaigns more effectively.

  • Saitama Shimbun (Japan), a 75-year old newspaper covering the Saitama prefecture, plans to detail the impact of the pandemic to preserve a record for future generations.

  • Suara Surabaya (Indonesia) goes beyond being a news portal, allowing readers to submit complaints like a public service hotline and working with stakeholders to find solutions. They will use funding to bridge cash flow impacted by COVID-19.

  • Minnambalam (India), a Tamil language publication from Chennai, will be able to keep their newsroom going, the funding giving them the confidence and financial support needed to carry on with their work.

  • East Mojo (India), a digital-only news organization, plans to allow journalists to go to remote parts of Northern India to shed light on the impact of COVID-19 once the country’s lockdown is lifted. 


Latin America:  Camilo Gomez - Online Partnerships Group Lead, LATAM

The process behind reviewing each of the 2,000+ applications in the region was an opportunity to connect with the amazing journalism and stories that support local communities.

  • Agencia Amazonia(Brazil) will support Project #CoberturaCovid19Amazônia, which investigates the socio-cultural impact of the coronavirus on traditional populations in the Amazon region, giving priority to stories about indigenous, quilombolas and riverside dwellers.

  • El Colombiano (Colombia) will maintain the quality and resources that characterize the  journalism of Medellin newspaper (the second most important city in the country).

  • La Discusion (Chile) will help finance an integrated radio-digital platform, developing informative, interpretive and opinion content across a variety of subjects like health, minorities, education, and sports etc that have been affected by COVID-19.

  • El Imparcial (México) will drive their strategic business plan, which includes improving multimedia content, newsroom training and growing their community. 

Today’s news builds on a number of otherefforts we’ve recently made in light of the pandemic. The GNI will announce more in the coming weeks and of course continue working to help the industry towards a more sustainable future in an ever increasingly digital world. 


Applications for Round 5 of DNI Innovation Fund are now open

Since its introduction in 2015, the Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund has offered more than €90 million to more than 460 ambitious projects in digital journalism, across 29 countries. The fund, our €150 million commitment to supporting innovation in the European news industry, is designed to provide no-strings-attached funding to those in the news industry looking for some room—and budget—to experiment. Today the DNI Innovation Fund is open for a fifth round of applications—the deadline to apply is April 9, 2018.


How the Fund works

The Fund is open to established publishers, online-only players, news startups, collaborative partnerships and individuals based in the EU and EFTA countries. There are three categories of funding available: Prototype (up to €50k of funding), Medium (up to €300k of funding) and Large (between €300k and €1 million in funding). For more information on eligible projects, criteria and funding, see our website.


We’re looking for projects that demonstrate new thinking in the practice of digital journalism, support the development of new business models, or even change the way people consume digital news. Projects can be highly experimental, but must have well-defined goals and have a significant digital component. Successful projects will show innovation and have a positive impact on the production of original digital journalism and on the long-term sustainability of the news business.


New for Round 5: Diversifying revenue streams

As with Round 4, all Medium and Large track applications will need to demonstrate that they have a monetisation component within the idea to be eligible. This year, we’re also looking for ideas outside of the well-known approaches around paywalls. So in Round 5 we welcome a range of experimental and innovative approaches which diversify revenue streams.


Apply now

See the DNI Innovation Fund website for full details and and application forms. Applications must be made in English by April 9, 2018 at 23.59 CEST. We’ll announce recipients by mid July.


New approaches have never been more needed so it’s time to experiment, innovate and try something new. We’re ready and waiting to help you bring your ideas to reality—submit your applications now!

Digital News Initiative: €20 million of funding for innovation in news

In October 2015, as part of our Digital News Initiative (DNI)—a partnership between Google and news publishers in Europe to support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation—we launched the €150 million DNI Innovation Fund. Today, we’re announcing the recipients of the fourth round of funding, with 102 projects in 26 European countries being offered €20,428,091 to support news innovation projects. This brings the total funding offered so far to €94 million.

In this fourth round, we received 685 project submissions from 29 countries. Of the 102 projects funded today, 47 are prototypes (early stage projects requiring up to €50,000 of funding), 33 are medium-sized projects (requiring up to €300,000 of funding) and 22 are large projects (requiring up to €1 million of funding).

DNI_M7_Infographic.png

In the last round, back in July, we saw a significant uptick in interest in fact checking projects. That trend continues in this round, especially in the prototype project category. In the medium and large categories, we encouraged applicants to focus on monetization, which led to a rise in medium and large projects seeking to use machine learning to improve content delivery and transform more readers into subscribers. Overall, 21 percent of the selected projects focus on the creation of new business models, 13 percent are about improving content discovery by using personalisation at scale. Around 37 percent of selected projects are collaborations between organizations with similar goals. Other projects include work on analytics measurement, audience development and new advertising opportunities. Here’s a sample of some of the projects funded in this round:

[Prototype] Stop Propaghate - Portugal

With €49,804 of funding from the DNI Fund, Stop Propaghate is developing an API supported by machine learning techniques that could help news media organizations 1) automatically identify if a portion of news reporting contains hate speech, and 2) predict the likelihood of a news piece to generate comments containing hate speech. The project is being developed by the Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC), a research & development institute located at University of Porto in Portugal.

[Medium] SPOT - France

Spot is an Artificial Intelligence-powered marketplace for curating, translating and syndicating valuable articles among independent media organizations, and is being developed by VoxEurop, a European news and debate website. With €281,291 of funding from the DNI Innovation Fund, Spot will allow publishers to easily access, buy and republish top editorial from European news organizations in their own languages, using AI data-mining technologies, summarization techniques and automatic translation technologies, alongside human content curation.

[Large] ML-based journalistic content recommendation system - Finland

Digital news media companies produce much more content than ever reaches their readers, because existing content delivery mechanisms tend to serve customers en masse, instead of individually. With €490,000 of funding from the DNI Innovation Fund, Helsingin Sanomat will develop a content recommendation system, using machine learning technologies to learn and adapt according to individual user behavior, and taking into account editorial directives.

The recipients of fourth round funding were announced at a DNI event in London, which brought together people from across the news industry to celebrate the impact of the DNI and Innovation Fund. Project teams that received funding in Rounds 1, 2 or 3 shared details of their work and demonstrated their successes in areas like local news, fact checking and monetization.

Since February 2016, we’ve evaluated more than 3,700 applications, carried out 935 interviews with project leaders, and offered 461 recipients in 29 countries a total of €94 million. It’s clear that these projects are helping to shape the future of high-quality journalism—and some of them are already directly benefiting the European public. The next application window will open in the spring. Watch out for details on the digitalnewsinitiative.com website and check out all DNI funded projects!

Digital News Initiative: €20 million of funding for innovation in news

In October 2015, as part of our Digital News Initiative (DNI)—a partnership between Google and news publishers in Europe to support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation—we launched the €150 million DNI Innovation Fund. Today, we’re announcing the recipients of the fourth round of funding, with 102 projects in 26 European countries being offered €20,428,091 to support news innovation projects. This brings the total funding offered so far to €94 million.

In this fourth round, we received 685 project submissions from 29 countries. Of the 102 projects funded today, 47 are prototypes (early stage projects requiring up to €50,000 of funding), 33 are medium-sized projects (requiring up to €300,000 of funding) and 22 are large projects (requiring up to €1 million of funding).

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In the last round, back in July, we saw a significant uptick in interest in fact checking projects. That trend continues in this round, especially in the prototype project category. In the medium and large categories, we encouraged applicants to focus on monetization, which led to a rise in medium and large projects seeking to use machine learning to improve content delivery and transform more readers into subscribers. Overall, 21 percent of the selected projects focus on the creation of new business models, 13 percent are about improving content discovery by using personalisation at scale. Around 37 percent of selected projects are collaborations between organizations with similar goals. Other projects include work on analytics measurement, audience development and new advertising opportunities. Here’s a sample of some of the projects funded in this round:

[Prototype] Stop Propaghate - Portugal

With €49,804 of funding from the DNI Fund, Stop Propaghate is developing an API supported by machine learning techniques that could help news media organizations 1) automatically identify if a portion of news reporting contains hate speech, and 2) predict the likelihood of a news piece to generate comments containing hate speech. The project is being developed by the Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC), a research & development institute located at University of Porto in Portugal.

[Medium] SPOT - France

Spot is an Artificial Intelligence-powered marketplace for curating, translating and syndicating valuable articles among independent media organizations, and is being developed by VoxEurop, a European news and debate website. With €281,291 of funding from the DNI Innovation Fund, Spot will allow publishers to easily access, buy and republish top editorial from European news organizations in their own languages, using AI data-mining technologies, summarization techniques and automatic translation technologies, alongside human content curation.

[Large] ML-based journalistic content recommendation system - Finland

Digital news media companies produce much more content than ever reaches their readers, because existing content delivery mechanisms tend to serve customers en masse, instead of individually. With €490,000 of funding from the DNI Innovation Fund, Helsingin Sanomat will develop a content recommendation system, using machine learning technologies to learn and adapt according to individual user behavior, and taking into account editorial directives.

The recipients of fourth round funding were announced at a DNI event in London, which brought together people from across the news industry to celebrate the impact of the DNI and Innovation Fund. Project teams that received funding in Rounds 1, 2 or 3 shared details of their work and demonstrated their successes in areas like local news, fact checking and monetization.

Since February 2016, we’ve evaluated more than 3,700 applications, carried out 935 interviews with project leaders, and offered 461 recipients in 29 countries a total of €94 million. It’s clear that these projects are helping to shape the future of high-quality journalism—and some of them are already directly benefiting the European public. The next application window will open in the spring. Watch out for details on the digitalnewsinitiative.com website and check out all DNI funded projects!