Google will finance the projects of around forty European media deemed innovative, including 8 French ones, including L’Humanité, Konbini or Les jours, up to a maximum of 150,000 euros each, the American firm announced on Thursday.
The web giant, which launched “innovation challenges” in 2018, opened this call for projects in April, already tested in other regions of the world, to the media of the Old Continent with a maximum of 50 journalists.
Out of more than 600 applications from 38 countries, 47 winners were selected in 21 countries, with France accounting for the largest number of them.
The Les Jours site particularly seduced by wondering “how to enrich the investigation” with visualizations and mapping of influence groups, explained Ludovic Blecher, innovation director of Google News Initiative.
The daily L’Humanité was rewarded for its project relating to web3 (blockchain, NFT, etc.) and involving the creation of a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), a structure with rules established by its community.
The Konbini site stands out for its use of “gamification”, video game techniques, to attract younger audiences, according to Google.
The Wedodata agency, the Futura (ex-Futura Sciences), Africa Business+ sites, the Voxe newsletter and the publisher So Press are also among the French winners.
In the rest of Europe, the war in Ukraine has influenced certain projects, such as that of Novaya Gazeta Europe, created in Latvia this year after the ban on the media in Russia, which intends to better address the Russian-speaking diaspora. And a consortium of Polish regional newspapers will create an application linking Ukrainian refugees and journalists who speak their language.
In a completely different field, the Spanish daily Público will create a news application for the elderly.
“There are many projects centered on the need to rebuild links, trust”, where the media had until now tended to favor the fight against false information, notes Ludovic Blecher.
Regularly accused of siphoning advertising revenue from the media, Google has been increasing support for the press in recent years.
The firm thus launched a fund for digital innovation in the press in 2013 in France, then, on a European scale, the “Digital News initiative” (DNI or Initiative for digital journalism) in 2015, financing numerous projects of greater scope.
The American firm has also signed agreements on the remuneration of so-called “neighboring” rights with various media.
AFP thus signed an agreement with Google at the end of 2021 on “neighboring rights” which remunerates the agency for five years for its content presented by the American giant, as well as two commercial contracts, also signed for five years.
The first focuses on training journalists and journalism students around the world in digital investigative techniques; the second on the production of “mobile stories”, vertical visual formats for smartphones. The amount of these agreements is confidential.