The organisation joins Inject, a consortium of 14 international partners in six countries to develop new digital technologies for news organisations. The goal is to improve the creativity and productivity of journalists in a digital world, so they can continue to perform their crucial role in open societies.
As journalists are under increased pressure to produce stories for a 24/7 news cycle and discussions about churnalism, filter bubbles and fake news raise questions about the possibility to do so, finding ways to continue producing original and quality stories is more urgent than ever.
With the tools developed through Inject, Wan-Ifra hopes its member publishers will be at a distinct advantage over those who simply own the production and platforms of newsgathering and distribution.
“The EU funded Horizon 2020 programmes create an opportunity for traditional publishers to take ownership of their own development, and disrupt the earliest digital startups that were born out of the portal and search eras, and we are proud to be an engaged player in that process,” says CEO Vincent Peyrègne.
Software uses NLP
Inject will officially launch at the Cass Innovate conference in London on 4 May 2017. Exploring the ways in which technology can support journalists' work, Inject uses creativity techniques based on Natural Language Processing (NLP).
The toolkit includes a creative search engine that reporters can use to search relevant databases for new angles, and to investigate further and deeper into the background of the stories they are working on (Juice), as well as a functionality that brings articles to life with interactive fact cards (Explain). It also scans texts for keywords and automatically links them to additional information. In order to make it easy for journalists to integrate the toolkit into their work practices, the software will be built directly into content management systems.
George Brock, Professor of Journalism, City, University of London, said, “Inject aims to do something which no other software for journalism attempts: to combine creative search techniques and ways of telling the reader more about background and sources. Moreover, this help is easy to use and fast.”
Neil Maiden, Professor of Digital Creativity, City, University of London, added, “This is the first tool that seeks to integrate productivity and creativity support directly into the digital work of journalists. It builds on successes in other domains to deliver key innovations in journalism.”
Inject is a collaborative innovation project joining journalists, academics, research centres, developers, media organisations and business organisations. Wan-Ifra joins the international consortium with the support of its Global Alliance for Media Innovation (Gami).
Gami, with its network of international affiliates, will actively participate and support Inject to advance rapidly the solutions created by the consortium. Together with its partners, Wan-Ifra will contribute to increase the competitiveness of one of Europe’s most important creative industries: journalism.
The Inject project incorporates the Google-funded Juice project that began in 2016 at City, University of London, as a collaboration between the Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice at the Cass Business School and the Journalism Department. Broader research into new tools for journalists won an EU Horizon 2020 grant of €1m and the Inject project started its work in January 2017.
For more information, Stephen Fozard, project director, Global Alliance for Media Innovation.
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