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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Google Innovation Fund awards €7.8M to 32 projects




Lisbon, Oct.29,2020(Lusa)- The Digital News Initiative (DNI) innovation fund has allocated €7.8 million to 32 digital journalism projects in Portugal in the six funding rounds over the last five years, Google said on Thursday.

Portugal is the sixth-largest recipient of funding from DNI, after Germany (€21.5 million), France (20.1 million), Spain (12.1 million), Italy (11.5 million) and the United Kingdom (14.9 million), according to the DNI report released on Thursday.

Almost half of the projects (49%) presented by Portugal were for the exploitation of new technologies, 24% for combating misinformation, 15% for the dissemination of local stories and 12% for boosting digital revenues.

In the €150 million funds, we financed 662 projects in 30 countries across Europe, he told Lusa Madhav Chinnappa, director of news ecosystem development at Google.

"I think all the projects are fantastic," he said, highlighting, in the Portuguese case, two, including that of the online newspaper Observador, with its online radio service, which received funding of €390,000.

This movement for audio and voice service development has been very interesting because it has been successful and is an interesting example of innovation, considered Madhav Chinnappa.

Another of the projects is Nónio, a unique technological platform created by the largest communication groups that offer personalised content.

Nónio has the capacity to inspire the industry and also involves collaboration, he added.

"People are realising how they can collaborate and where they can compete instead of everything. Let us be wiser and choose where to compete and where we can collaborate. I think this trend of collaboration will continue, which is good," he said.

"Collaboration in all forms is important and the pandemic has shown how interconnected we are," said Madhav Chinnappa.

Among the various entities that have received funding from the DNI, since it was launched in 2015, besides the Observer and the Private Media Platform (PMP), Lusa, Cofina Media, Impresa, INESC, Público, the University of Porto, Global Notícias or the Journalistic Company Região de Leiria, among others, said the DNI report.

In overall terms, more than a quarter (27.2%) of the projects supported by DNI went to regional and national publishers, and 14.5% to news startups.

News agencies and non-profit organisations accounted for 14.2%, local publishers 11% and only online organisations 10.4%.

By type of organisation supported by the Fund, academic institutions accounted for 3% and television for 1.8%, as did radio.

Overall, the DNI Fund supported projects addressing four main industry challenges: increasing digital revenues (12%), telling local stories (15%), combating misinformation (21%) and exploring new technologies (52%), according to the report.

"It was a fascinating experience because we had six rounds of funding," Madhav Chinnappa said.

In the beginning, the fund was set up based on the publishers' responses about five years ago on how the media industry could be helped.

"We set up an innovation fund for the news, and we did not even define what innovation was, we left it as open as possible," she said.

Considering these five interesting, he said that more than 5,000 projects were analysed in this period, where one can observe how people define ideas and what they consider innovation.

And that is why more than half of the projects we have supported have to do with new technology, how we involve the audience, he added.

But over time, in response to publishers' concerns about the problems of the media ecosystem, the next rounds have focused on how to get recipes from readers, and we have also tried to put focus on the spot, Madhav Chinnappa explained.

Therefore, we have several projects in these areas, which is interesting, said the director of news ecosystem development at Google.

According to the head of Google, support for the media ecosystem will continue, through the various tools at the company's disposal.

"We have a long-term commitment, we are an ecosystem company and we thrive when the ecosystems in which we operate prosper," he said.

When asked about the DNI fund, it was positive for the media sector, Madhav Chinnappa said that she hopes so, but it is not for her to judge.

She left this assessment to the owners of the 662 projects or, even before that, to the more than 5,000 who applied for the fund, because it is they who must assess whether it was positive or not.

ALU/IMYN // ADB.

Lusa
















Agency : LUSA

Date : 2020-10-30 09:46:00







 

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