europe night light
Credit: By woodleywonderwonks on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Google will award more than £21m to 128 journalism projects in Europe as part of the first round of Digital News Initiative (DNI) funding, the company announced today.

The projects, hailing from 23 European countries, range from prototypes to medium and larger scale tools and platforms developed by publishers to improve their storytelling on digital platforms.

The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon by Sundar Pichai, Google's chief executive, during a keynote speech at the Sciences Po School of Journalism in Paris, France.

"The projects have been wonderfully diverse, ranging from automated content personalisation and robot journalism, to hoax busting apps and tools to verify social media in real-time reporting," Pichai told attendees at the event.

A total of £118.8 million (€150m) was allocated to the programme, developed in partnership with 160 news organisations across Europe, with applications for a second round of funding set to open before the summer.

The largest amount of funding per country, £3.88m was awarded to projects in Germany, followed by £2.23m to the UK, £2.5m to Spain, and £1.85m to applications from France.

List of countries funded by Google's Digital News Initiative, according to the scale of the projects

In the UK, The Telegraph was awarded funding for its Real-time Sports Action Visualiser project, a tool that aims to make it easier to create rich graphics on the go using artificial intelligence, particularly for football live blogs.

The Financial Times will also be supported by Google to build a tool to "better understand global news trends", the company told in an email, by analysing which topics and themes are popular with readers outside the FT's "own news ecosystem".

Elsewhere in Europe, Spain's was awarded funds to create a new system for making journalism projects sustainable, by identifying niche audience groups that would be interested in financially supporting a specific story or an area of coverage.

Other organisations to receive support through the DNI include Público in Portugal, Prague-based Sourcefabric, and Swiss regional newspaper Edenspiekermann.

The Digital News Initiative, announced in April 2015, is Google's attempt to strengthen the relationship between European publishers and the company, by enabling news outlets to experiment with new ways to increase revenues and engagement with their readers.

Google also introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages today, a project aiming to get “the mobile web to live up to its potential” by enabling news articles to load up to four times faster on mobile when accessed through Google Search.

Google is currently in the process of notifying the recipients of the DNI grant.

We have put together a collection of tweets below, which will be updated as more publishers and projects are unveiled.

This article has been updated with comment from the Financial Times. It previously stated the company was building a platform for creating story templates in real-time when financial news breaks. 

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).