Journalism nonprofit offers seed money for news ‘experimentation’

An institute dedicated to strengthening local journalism is launching an initiative aimed at developing and sustaining new ideas and fostering a venture-capitalist approach to the business. The Philadelphia-based Lenfest Institute for Journalism has ponied up $1 million for grants, in an approach that is similar to that of an incubator for startups. “It’s important not […]

This contest is looking for more ideas on innovation ways to present factchecks (grand prize: $10,000)

If most fact-checking as it’s presented to readers today bores you, now’s your chance to figure out more exciting formats — and maybe win a big cash prize doing it.

The International Center for Journalists is running a contest called TruthBuzz that seeks ideas to make fact-checking and debunking stories more appealing to readers, and to increase their chances of going viral.

From the contest description:

We want your creative solutions for taking fact-checking beyond long-form explanations and bullet points. We’re looking for ideas — from everyone, not just journalists — that turn fact-checking into engaging, visual and interactive stories that are instantly understandable and shareable.

A successful entry to TruthBuzz will refute or clarify a false or misleading report or statement in an engaging, entertaining way that convinces audiences of its veracity and encourages them to share it.

Any digital format in any language is welcome, from individuals or teams (though the application form itself must be filled out in English). What’s more, the grand prize winner will get $10,000 in cash ($5,000 and $2,500 for the second and third-place awardees), sponsored by the Craig Newmark Foundation.

Curious what the TruthBuzz judges are looking for, exactly? ICFJ recorded a webinar with a few of those judges, detailing their thinking. Some important criteria:

— “We want to be surprised. We want rich information, but conveyed in a way that surprises us,” Aimee Rinehart of First Draft News said. “How are you telling the story? Is how you’re telling it authoritative? Are you professionally developing it? Can we see the mic in the frame? Can we see sloppy code? Those are things I think that would prevent someone from winning the contest.”

— “Content is going to be at least 60, 70 percent for me, when it comes to the entries. And then we’ll come to the presentation of things,” Shaheryar Popalzai, an ICFJ Knight fellow, said. There are also existing tools that can help you improve the presentation of a fact checking item, if you don’t have the resources yourself.

More FAQ at the end of the video:

The contest ends June 30. You can enter it here.

Help shape how The Economist looks and feels on new digital platforms

Source: Creative Commons, Pedro Szekely

We’re hiring our next cohort of social media fellows

Digital, data and social journalism fellowship
The Economist

The Economist was founded as a print newspaper in 1843, but today our analysis reaches 40m people through social media. More people than ever discover us for the first time on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, perhaps through a video or an eye-opening infographic.

The social-media team comprises creative and enthusiastic journalists who join us on one-year fellowships to help shape The Economist’s digital future. We are now recruiting three new fellows, who will each bring a different set of skills to the team.

You may have experience in presenting data in ways that fly on Facebook, and want to work with our data team to make stellar social-friendly infographics. Or you might have worked as a beat reporter and hope to collaborate with our picture desk on Instagram. You might have have built a community around a podcast. Or you may be a developer who can come up with a more efficient way of resurfacing popular evergreen stories — while working with data analysts on the side. Or you might even be fast at crunching down a nuanced analysis for social videos, newsletters and push notifications. These illustrations are only some of the things we are looking for. We are open to your pitch.

All applicants must share an enthusiasm to work across The Economist. They will be supported by the central social-media team in London, but expected to find internal collaborators in different teams, from the editorial section desks to the product, data and analytics departments.

So does your experience and your skillset sit in the future of journalism — that is, involving digital, data or social media? Are you looking for a desk where you can learn, experiment and work with some of the world’s smartest journalists and editors? Are you eager to help shape and improve The Economist’s presence on social and digital platforms?

If you answer yes to these questions, we’d like to hear from you. Send the following items to

  • CV and cover letter outlining your pitch for where you’d fit in on the social-media team
  • 400-word post for The Economist Explains blog on a topic of your choice
  • 200-word pitch explaining (or illustrating) how you’d promote your explainer blog on a social or digital platform

Successful candidates will be hired on one-year contracts and paid £2,000 per month. The deadline for applications is Monday, June 19th. Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK. Start dates are flexible.

Preferred qualities include:

  • Proven experience in producing content for social media and digital platforms
  • An understanding of The Economist’s values, tone and audience
  • Enthusiasm for collaborating with colleagues in different departments
  • A good understanding of data analytics
  • Experience with Photoshop, Premiere or Illustrator
  • Coding skills (Javascript and Python), or a background in data journalism, are a plus
  • An awareness of what other publishers are doing on social media and an openness to trying new things

The Economist Group values diversity. We are committed to equal opportunities and creating an inclusive environment for all our employees. We welcome applicants regardless of ethnic origin, national origin, gender, race, colour, religious beliefs, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Help shape how The Economist looks and feels on new digital platforms was originally published in Severe Contest on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing 2017 – now accepting applications – See more at:

How to apply

Applications are invited for any new development, product, service, launch or project which is both innovative and of significant value to scholarly communication. Submissions can relate to any part of the scholarly and professional publishing industry but must demonstrate excellence in terms of originality and innovation, significance and value to its community, utility and long-term viability. Applications must define clearly the benefits and advances they represent in their sector. The judges may make more than one award depending on the submissions received. The finalists will be showcased at the ALPSP Conference and the winners announced at the Awards Dinner on 14 September.

The closing date for applications is Friday 19 May.

After the closing date, the judging panel will review the submissions and draw up a shortlist who will be invited to give a 15-minute presentatin to the panel on 11 July. Each finalist will also be invited to give a 5 minute presentation to showcase their application at the ALPSP Conference..

In order for the panel to make a reasoned assessment, each application must include detail on the background, business model, resources, development, operation of the product and how you are measuring its success.

ALPSP may publish a list of submissions together with the statements of innovation.  All other information within the applications will be treated in strictest confidence. 

Please preface your application with a summary Statement of Innovation (maximum 100 words) outlining the key features which make the product innovative and demonstrate its value to the industry.

Supporting information should include detail on the following:

  • What are the main features and functions of the product?
  • What was the background and research behind its development or launch?
  • What resources went into its creation?
  • What makes it significant and innovative?
  • What value does it offer, how is this measured?
  • What is its business model and what is the scope for further expansion?

Please be sure to include the following in your application:

  • Name of product
  • Publisher or owner
  • Date product launched
  • Product website
  • If a username and password is required to access the content, please supply details with your application.
  • Full contact details of person submitting the application

There is no word limit for your application but we suggest a minimum of 500 words and maximum of 2000 words. Please aim to be concise and provide the key information necessary for the panel to judge it rather than providing unnecessary additional background material – less is more! If your application is shortlisted, you will be invited to give a more detailed presentation to the judges on Tuesday 11 July. Where travel to London is not practical, this can be via a conference call.

Applications should be sent by email to Lesley OggThe closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 19 May.

Please note that if you do not provide sufficient information about the innovation you are submitting, the panel will not be able to give due consideration to the application. If the publication or service is produced on behalf of another organization, the owner’s written permission for the submission to be made is required.

For further information please contact Lesley Ogg (email; +44 (0)1245 260571)

– See more at:

More partners, more diversity: second round of the Google News Lab Fellowship in Germany, Austria…

More partners, more diversity: second round of the Google News Lab Fellowship in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Over the past two years, we’ve steadily expanded the Google News Lab Fellowship program to help build the next generation of digital journalists across the world. Last year, we launched the program in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, attracting more than 130 applicants and placing 17 applicants in local newsrooms.

We’re excited to build on that work and announce the next round of the Google News Lab Fellowship in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

This year, we are offering 17 fellowships in some of the most innovative media companies in the region and are delighted to welcome Berliner Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel and Media Lab Bayern as new media partners to the program. Journalists and developers can apply for the fellowship from today, May 9th, using the application form on the Google News Lab Fellowship website. The application process will run until June 2th.

This year, our partners include:

Berliner Morgenpost (Berlin)

Blick (Zürich)

Berliner Zeitung (Berlin)

Correctiv (Berlin)

Der Standard (Wien)

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Online (Frankfurt)

Kurier (Wien)

Media Lab Bayern (München)

Mittelbayerische Zeitung (Regensburg)

Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (Osnabrück)

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Zürich)

Rheinische Post (Düsseldorf)

Spiegel Online (Hamburg)

Tagesspiegel (Berlin)

VOCER (Hamburg)

Wirtschaftswoche (Düsseldorf)

Zeit Online (Berlin)

This year, to make the fellowship track for developers more inclusive, we will partner with Neue Deutsche Medienmacher e.V., a coalition of journalists dedicated to objective reporting and better representation of Germany’s immigrant populations. We will offer five fellowship placements to journalists and developers who either have a migrant background or are in exile. Rebecca Roth, program manager at Verein Neue Deutsche Medienmacher e.V., emphasized the need to “encourage and empower journalists with an immigrant background” and “give them the opportunity to prepare for journalism in the future” given “that the world of technology is rapidly changing.”

We entirely agree. Diversity and inclusion are essential in creating media that surfaces new perspectives and reaches new audiences. We believe that these journalists can discover new stories, and open up new sources and research areas for journalists in the region — especially around topics like migration, integration, and asylum. We are grateful to the work of Rebecca and her organization, who will help support the journalists with work permits and other issues that involve local immigration laws.

We also want to take a moment to thank everyone who applied and participated in our program last year. The response to the program from both applicants and media partners is one of the key reasons we’ve invested in expanding the program this year. Here’s some of the feedback we heard from our media partners last year:

“To work with new web technologies means a lot of testing and experimentation. The Google News Lab fellowship brings ideal conditions, especially in larger projects where refinement of ideas lead to new opportunities.” — Julius Tröger, head of the interactive team at Berliner Morgenpost

“For Zeit Online, the News Lab Fellowship 2016 was enriching through collaborative work on complex visualisation projects. It was exciting, enlightening, and productive. The stories we worked on during the fellowship are already live or in final drafts.” — Fabian Mohr, head of Resort Interactive at Zeit Online

We look forward to welcoming a new cohort of passionate, ambitious journalists and developers this year to expand and broaden the impact of the Fellowship program. You can learn more about the fellowship program, our participating media organizations, and Verein Neue Deutsche Medienmacher e.V. on our website.

The Fellowship program is a reflection of our values at the Google News Lab. For all the opportunities technology may enable, great journalists will always be at the heart of great journalism. We look forward to continue strengthening the program and helping develop the next generation of storytellers.

More partners, more diversity: second round of the Google News Lab Fellowship in Germany, Austria… was originally published in Google News Lab on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Alexa Diabetes Challenge

An estimated 27.5 million people live with type 2 diabetes in the United States. Thanks to greater awareness and better treatments, many who have been diagnosed with the disease are living longer, healthier lives. But diabetes requires changes and considerations that permeate throughout every aspect of life. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and isolated on the path to self-management, especially for people who are newly diagnosed.

Amazon voice-enabled solutions have the potential to be a new partner for this journey. As voice technology transforms the way we live, could it shift from helping manage playlists to helping manage disease?

The Alexa Diabetes Challenge invites you to be among the first to explore how voice-enabled solutions and the ecosystem of supporting cloud technologies provided by Amazon Web Services can improve the experience of those newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

More about the challenge

Podcast: From Scientist to Entrepreneur (Catalyst Grant)

Listen on iTunes

In 2017, it’s not uncommon to see former researchers turning their backs on their scientific endeavors and moving into the evolving landscape of entrepreneurship. The academic journey can present many problems – problems that researchers will of course want to solve. With the technical know-how that is so common amongst STEM disciplines, a plethora of innovative companies have been created by researchers to solve these problems.

Our Catalyst Grant is designed to inspire these people and to take their innovative ideas and products to the next level.

In our latest podcast, we interviewed a group of scientists that have left the traditional academic route to pursue an entrepreneurial path. Join us to learn more about their journeys into this world – and perhaps it may even inspire you.

Don’t forget to rate us on iTunes and you can follow us on Souncloud too!




The post Podcast: From Scientist to Entrepreneur appeared first on Digital Science.

Announcing: Journalism 360 Challenge Grants Now Open

We know that advances in virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality will produce richer journalism and give audiences new ways to relate to news. Yet there are significant storytelling, technical, and ethical challenges around these new technologies, which is why we’re helping to build capacity for creative experimentation through the Journalism 360 Challenge grants.

In partnership with the Knight Foundation and the Online News Association, the grants provide a total of $250,000 for projects that can advance the field of immersive storytelling for journalism. The grants are open to global entries and welcome applications from journalists, content creators, developers, or educators. Each applicant can apply for up to $35,000.

At the Google News Lab, we’re investing in helping journalists embrace immersive storytelling through training, product development and community building. With our involvement in Journalism 360, we want to help journalists learn more about the application of immersive storytelling, experiment with new technology, and share learnings and best practices with each other.

Journalists gather for a Journalism 360 meet up to discuss challenges and techniques in immersive storytelling. Photo credit: Matt Cooke.

The challenge opens on March 8 at 12:01am ET and closes April 10 at 11:59pm ET. Once the submission period is closed, entries will be reviewed, ideas will be selected, and winners will set off to embark on their projects. The end of the working period will culminate in an opportunity for the journalism community to hear what’s been in the works and how it can inform or shape their own immersive journalism efforts. More on those dates, soon.

Here are the sorts of questions the applications might tackle:

  • Ideas that use mixed reality, virtual reality, augmented reality and 360-degree video to engage audiences.
  • Ideas that can provide best practices for replication and iteration across the field.
  • Ideas that help democratize immersive storytelling tools and methods for news organizations.

In the meantime, the Journalism 360 team will host a series of in-person and virtual events to answer questions. Check out the list of events here and dive into the FAQ with any questions. And be sure to follow @Journalism_360 for the latest.

Announcing: Journalism 360 Challenge Grants Now Open was originally published in Google News Lab on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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