Which projects have been funded by Google Digital News Initiative in the first round?

25 February 2016
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Google Digital News Initiative

Google Digital News Initiative

On Wednesday, Google has announced that 128 projects were selected during the first funding round of its Google Digital News Initiative. According to public sources, the following projects have received Google DNI funding.

If you know of a project not in our list, please let us know by e-mail or join the conversation on our community page.

Summary of the Google DNI funding round

  • Total allocation: 27 mio EUR
  • Number of participants: 1200
  • Winners: 128 projects (10,7% of participants)
  • Average project allocation: 210.000 EUR per project


  • Total allocation: 4,9 mio EUR (18%)
  • Projects funded:
    • Spectrm: will build an artificial intelligence engine to help publishers communicate directly with readers–and distribute content–on a 1:1 basis through instant messaging apps.
    • Tagesspiegel: online debating magazine Causa
    • OpenDataCity: data sensor journalism
    • prototype for linguistic content analysis
    • Wirtschaftswoche: automated research tool
    • Deutsche Welle’s Innovation Projects Team : Verify.Media (we’re not online yet) — A tool to support verification of User Generated Content
    • Rhein-Zeitung: App connecting personal social media messages and mails with local news
    • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ): Personalised news for subscribers, based on an intelligent software, curating content for smartphone, tablet and PC.
    • NextMediaAccelerator: Spectrm – An Artificial intelligence engine to help publishers communicate directly with readers
    • VRagments: Fader – A technical solution that will allow newsrooms to create and publish VR stories in an easy-to-handle way.
    • Edenspiekermann: a new post-publishing tool for journalists that will suggest the right action at the right moment
    • Bauhaus University – Clickbait – Clickbait language investigation in communication is key to build automatic identification technology
    • Other: Athens Technology Centre zusammen mit Deutsche Welle, Headline24 and dpa

United Kingdom

  • Total allocation: 2,8 mio EUR (10%)
  • Projects funded:
    • The Telegraph: Real-time Sports Action Visualiser
    • The Financial Times: a platform which auto-creates story templates when anomalous financial market events occur in real-time, allowing journalists to identify breaking news
    • TalkAboutLocal: Local News Engine – A tool to mine local public data for leads for local news stories and produce reports customised to fit in with a journalists workflow.
    • Trinity Mirror: Perpecs – A news app that presents three sides to a news story, allowing users to switch between different news sources presenting different views
    • The Bureau: Local Journalism Project – Ensure better transparency and accountability in the way taxpayers’ money is spent.


  • Total allocation: 2,5 mio EUR (9%)
  • Projects funded:
    • : will create a new journalism crowdfunding system that will identify niche groups of audiences and invite them to fund a specific story.
    • Prisa Radio: HERTZ – wants to solve the problem of finding Spanish audio content online, by applying big data technologies, natural language processing, biometrics, semantization and labeling.
    • El Pais: El Pais – HD – Aimes to improve the production and distribution of audiovisual content, by helping the journalists detect viral audiovisual content in real time.


  • Total allocation: 2,3 mio EUR (8%)
  • Projects funded:




  • Total allocation: 1,5 mio EUR (6%)
  • Projects funded:
    • NZZ:  Personal Companion app
    • Tageswoche: CityTalk project (input from citizens and direct feedback to editors on local topic)
    • Viz & Chips: The Press Match – A matchmaker portal for Journalists and distributors of press releases: Matching the right people with the right messages
    • Lettera43: FreeJourn – A collaborative platform that reinvents the role of journalists and freelance photo-/video-reporters

The Netherlands



  • Total allocation: 1.5 mio EUR (6%)
  • Projects funded:
    • Polityka: Project digital Politik
    • NaTemat Portal – Online service providing basic of knowledge of main themes of political and social discussion
    • Agora Radio Group: Microphone TOK FM – Online platform and application allowing listeners to co-broadcast, by sending in UGC (audio)
    • Gazeta Wyborcza & – Overexpose Politicians – Making actions and initiatives of politicians in the parliament and local governments more transparent for the people

Czech Republic

  • Total allocation: 792,951 EUR (3%)
  • Projects funded:
    • Sourcefabric: Live Coverage Ecosystem – Allows syndication of resources between news agencies and their clients


  • Total allocation: 331,860 EUR (1%)
  • Projects funded:
    • Danes je now dan: Parameter – A parliament tracker to visualise data on the work of the National Assembly with analyses of voting records and transcripts.


  • Total allocation: 1.9 mio EUR (7%)
  • Projects funded:
    • Lusa: Losa Portal – News portal to improve the distribution of news in Portuguese in Portugal and to the world
    • Publico: P24 Public Project – A digital platform for personalised services, allowing users to receive summaries of the information missed


  • Total allocation: 554.830 EUR (2%)
  • Projects funded:


  • Total allocation: 638.040 EUR (2%)
  • Projects funded:


  • Total allocation: 50.000 EUR (<1%)
  • Projects funded:
    • DanWatch: Supply Chain Project – A tool to map the supply chain for products and make data transparent to consumers.


  • Projects funded:
    • Euronews: Virtual Reality Journalism – A 360 video project

Update 10/3/2016:

We have updated our list based on List of Google DNI funded projects of Til Man, a journalist who works for German publisher Deutsche Welle’s innovation team (DW won some of the funding).

Also Niemanlab has written a story about the 128 winners of the Google Digital News Initiative.

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