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Welcome to the Q2 review from the Digital News Initiative. Highlights from the last few months include

Welcome to the Q2 review from the Digital News Initiative. Highlights from the last few months include

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Launching the first annual Innovation Fund Report

We hope you enjoy reading more - as always, if you have questions or comments do get in touch. Have a great summer!

DNI Innovation Fund

Launching the First DNI Innovation Fund Report

Since February 2016, the Fund team has evaluated more than 3000 applications, carried out 748 interviews with project leaders, and distributed funding totalling €73m to 359 projects in 29 countries. To mark this milestone, we have published the Fund’s first annual report, which outlines the early impact of the projects funded so far. From startups to large newsrooms, at national and local levels, DNI-funded projects are embracing the possibilities and challenges of digital journalism and helping shape the future of the industry across Europe.

First DNI Innovation Fund Event

On July 6th, we held the first DNI Innovation Fund event in Amsterdam, to celebrate and showcase projects and learnings from the first two rounds of the Fund. We welcomed many funding recipients, who led breakout sessions introducing their project. Topics ranged from Blockchain and AI, to Data Journalism and VR. Keynote speakers included Lydia Polgreen who discussed embracing change and nimble innovation in her position as Editor-in-Chief at Huffpost; Jimmy Wales who reflected on his learnings from launching Wikipedia and his new news venture Wikitribune; and Annie Chen, charting the leap between innovation and execution from her perspective as a Google engineer who worked to launch Gmail Priority Inbox. View photos from the event here and a video here.

Round 3 of the Innovation Fund - Results Announced

On July 6th, we were excited to announce the results of Round 3 of the DNI Innovation Fund, Google’s €150m commitment to enable European news organisations to experiment and innovate in the digital space.

107 projects were selected from 27 European countries, with funding totalling ~€22m. The most popular topics in this round were; machine learning/AI; new product platforms and monetisation. The quality of applications was very high - congratulations to all those successful.

More information about funding from this and previous rounds, including an infographic, can be found here, project details here and to view a video about the impact of the Fund, click here.

Looking Forward - Round 4

We’re announcing that the application window for R4 will open in early September and run for 30 days. Based on feedback from R3, we’ll be making a few changes to the application process, and will be posting details on our website in the coming weeks. One tip as you start thinking - focus your discussions on monetisation and diversification of revenue streams...

Training - Google News Lab

Since the launch of the DNI in 2015, the Google News Lab has provided in-person training to over 35,000 journalists in Europe - through a series of presentations, events and workshops. In addition, our website provides over 50 lessons on tools that can help with news gathering, reporting and visualisation.

We've also been working on a range of projects:

Expanding the Fellowship

  • Thousands of students have applied for a Google News Lab Fellowship, which is being provided for the second year in the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We extended the scheme to new countries this year too; Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. This scheme sees data or tech inspired journalism students gain a two-month placement in a newsroom - over 42 European publishers have taken part in the 2017 scheme, with more expected later this year.
  • In the DACH region we partnered with the association Neue Deutsche Medienmacher e.V. to offer 5 fellowship placements to journalists in exile and journalists with immigration history. This partnership underlines our commitment to strengthen diversity and inclusion in media.

Large Events and New 'Design Sprints'

  • We’ve held our first 2017 events in partnership with the European Journalism Centre - working together we hosted the News Impact Summit in Rome and then Hamburg with hundreds of journalists attending. We also launched an Academy Series to sit alongside the larger events - this offers tailored ‘design sprint’ training to senior journalists in each location. Next up we’re taking the event to Budapest, Manchester and Brussels.
  • In Germany we integrated our News Lab workshops for journalists into our Zukunftwerkstatt effort to teach digital skills. We are offering open News Lab training sessions in 16 different cities across Germany by EOY. In the UK, we’re taking our training to Digital Garages in Birmingham and Sheffield, with more events expected later in the year.
  • We’re working with the next generation of journalists too, hosting our first training event in partnership with Neue Deutsche Medienmacher e.V. for 41 journalists in exile and with immigration history. We are planning to run three training days by the end of 2017. In the UK, we're also supporting the NCTJ Journalism Diversity Fund - helping journalists at the start of their career gain the required training and qualifications.
  • Working with a number of external academic partners, we’ve launched a range of MOOCs - ‘Massive Open Online Courses’ - to allow journalists to learn advanced techniques at their own pace. Spanish and Portuguese speaking journalists can access them here.

Working to Support Elections Across Europe

  • We partnered with a range of publishers ahead of elections in the Netherlands, France and the UK. We provided training and Google Trends to broadcasters who surfaced the ‘top questions’ to the political leaders during Dutch breakfast television and during prime time election coverage on France Television and ITV News. In Germany, we launched our Trends newsletter and partnered with various newsrooms covering the state elections leading up to the federal election in September.
  • We supported Full Fact and First Draft to work with major newsrooms to address rumours and misinformation spreading online during the UK general election. Multiple newsrooms received twice-daily newsletters; and a separate training day, organised by First Draft Partners and focused on verification, was held at City, University of London.
  • We built Protect Your Election, a suite of free tools to help defend against common types of digital attacks. These tools can help protect news publishers, human rights groups, and election monitoring sites — organisations whose work is particularly critical before and during elections — from online threats such as DDoS attacks, phishing and attempts to break into people’s private accounts.

We're continuing to provide newsroom workshops on a range of topics and themes - get in touch if you'd like to arrange training for your teams.

Research - Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

For the second year, the DNI has partnered with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, to support their annual Digital News Report. The 2017 edition, launched on 22nd June, examines survey data gathered from 36 countries.

There is a lot of interesting information from the 2017 report so please download the full report online; view a brief overview of key findings in this video; and explore the data through interactive custom reports here.

Events and Outreach

The DNI team attend and speak at many key industry events across Europe, and we’re always happy to chat. Read more about our Q2 events presence on our website - including from the WAN-IFRA World News Media Congress in Durban, re:publica in Berlin, and the latest in our series of DNI Regional Events - this time in Paris.

Looking ahead to Q3 - amongst other highlights, we’ll be attending:

Hope to see you there - keep an eye on our website for latest updates.

DNI Innovation Fund - Featured Proect

Le Monde's 'Decodex'; helping readers sort facts from fiction

Solving for: With misinformation on the rise, and the general public wary of conspiracy rumours and theories spread across social media, Le Monde noticed a growing feeling of distrust amongst their readers. They wanted to combat this trend, and work towards giving readers power over the facts.

Solution: Le Monde developed Decodex, three fact-checking products powered by a database of 600 websites deemed unreliable and compiled by in-house fact-checking unit Les Dėcodeurs. Decodex allows readers to manually submit URLs that they want to test the veracity of, and also offers a free browser attachment which uses a coloured labelling system to indicate potential fake news.

Results: Whilst the project development has not been without obstacles (the sheer volume of websites to review proved a challenge) Decodex has received international praise and heralded by Digiday and the BBC, amongst others. Le Monde continues to evolve the project, with journalists visiting classrooms across France to teach children about digital literacy. Read more about the project here (en français).

Le Monde were funding recipients on the Medium track in R1 of the DNI Innovation Fund

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