Google awards six-figure grants to Trinity Mirror and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Perspecs screenshot.png

A Google-backed journalism project has awarded six-figure sums to Trinity Mirror’s news aggregation app and a data project set up by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as it looks to encourage innovation in news media organisations.

Google Digital News Initiative (DNI) is a collaboration between Google and news publishers in Europe supporting innovation in journalism.

Overall, DNI is providing £119 million of funding to large companies to small start-ups.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai this week announced a raft of projects have received funding including Trinity Mirror’s Perspecs mobile app, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Blasting News for Europe, a platform for social journalism founded by Italian journalist Andrea Manfredi.

Trinity Mirror received a six-figure sum for its free-of-charge news aggregator Perspecs which aims to present readers with different angles to news stories.

Darren Sher, head of product at Trinity Mirror, said: “The funding and recognition from Google is a huge boost for Perspecs. It opens up a number of opportunities to help us build our audience and further develop the infrastructure and reach of the app.

“Currently the app is in beta, so the funding also enables us to focus on building a more stable, scalable and feature rich product. The DNI is about supporting innovative digital journalism which sparks new thinking, so we’re really pleased to be recognised in that bracket.”

Not-for-profit organisation The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has been awarded £520,000 to help fund a project to analyse large databases for original stories at local and regional levels.

The Bureau is hoping to set up a network of journalists to explore how coding and computing technology can produce original and hard-hitting stories.

These stories could include payments and grants made to private companies by local governments, with the aim of ensuing greater transparency and accountability in the way taxpayers’ money is spent.

Bureau managing editor Rachel Oldroyd said: “We want to bring together all the great data journalism happening across the UK and supplement this with an exciting cross-discipline team to encourage data-driven stories. This is an incredible opportunity to develop a unique and ambitious team working for and with local journalists.”

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