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Google’s DNI hands out €24 million to 124 projects in second round of funding

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Google’s DNI hands out €24 million to 124 projects in second round of funding

WAN-IFRA received a second round of funding in the category for Prototype Projects. In collaboration with Mediahuis, WAN-IFRA will develop VR ad units, offering a template for publishers to better monetise initial experiments in VR or 360 video storytelling. 

The Digital News Initiative fund was set up last year by Google to support European news publishers’ experimentation and innovation efforts. Google pledged €150 million in funding, of which €30 million was handed out earlier this year. (One of the beneficiaries was WAN-IFRA’s Media Management Accelerator programme.)

According to Google, this round of funding focused on collaborative projects, in addition to the main criteria of impact, innovation and feasibility. In total, Google received over 850 submissions for funding. The full list of successful applicants includes major newspapers such as Spiegel, Le Parisien, the Financial Times, as well as smaller publishers and individual projects.

The DNI funding comes at the same time that Google is negotiating with European regulators about antitrust accusations that concern its search and Android businesses, as TechCrunch points out. Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai is expected to discuss the ongoing cases with the EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Friday. 

One project that stands out from the successful applicants is “The Offline Journalism Toolkit”, which aims to provide tools that would allow news publishers to set up an “offshore vehicle” where their content could be published, outside the potentially challenging legal environment of their home country. Although news publishers’ content is exempted from the “right to be forgotten” in principle, in practice there have been cases – for example in Belgium and Italy – where “right to be forgotten” has been applied to newspapers’ archives.

Given that Google is compelled to apply the “right to be forgotten” to its search results, it is interesting that the company is simultaneously supporting a project that aims to protect news publishers from it. 


Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson


2016-11-17 13:33

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