Through its Digital News Initiative launched last April, Google has selected three projects to honor with its Computational Journalism Research Award in Europe. Google says that each project it selected “create[s] innovative new tools and open source software that will support online journalism and benefit readers.” In addition to being highlighted by Google with an award, these recipients also receives cash funding as well as computing credit to support their projects:

SCAN: Systematic Content Analysis of User Comments for Journalists Walid Maalej, Professor of Informatics, University of Hamburg Wiebke Loosen, Senior Researcher for Journalism, Hans-Bredow-Institute, Hamburg, Germany This project aims at developing a framework for the systematic, semi-automated analysis of audience feedback on journalistic content to better reflect the voice of users, mitigate the analysis efforts, and help journalists generate new content from the user comments.

Event Thread Extraction for Viewpoint Analysis Ioana Manolescu, Senior Researcher, INRIA Saclay, France The goal of the project is to automatically build topic “event threads” that will help journalists and citizens decode claims made by public figures, in order to distinguish between personal opinion, communication tools and voluntary distortions of the reality.

Computational Support for Creative Story Development by Journalists Neil Maiden, Professor of Systems Engineering George Brock, Professor of Journalism, City University London, UK This project will develop a new software prototype to implement creative search strategies that journalists could use to strengthen investigative storytelling more efficiently than with current news content management and search tools.

As for the cash prize, Google says it will provide up to $60,000 in funding and $20,000 in Cloud Platform credits to help support the work of the research projects.

Sticking to the digital journalism space, Google has also shared the transcript of a speech delivered today in Barcelona by David Drummond, the company’s SVP of Corporate Development, to a host of news editors at the annual GEN (Global Editors Network) Summit. Drummond discussed the progress of the Digital News Initiative in Europe in detail:

Less than two months ago we started out with eleven partners, including our hosts here – the Global Editors Network – the Guardian in the UK, Die Zeit in Germany, Les Echos in France and El Pais in Spain. I’m very pleased to say that they have now been joined by more than 65 new participants and we have received over 1000 expressions of interest from across Europe. We invite others to join us.

We are working together in three key areas – on product development, on training and research, and on supporting innovation in digital news.

You can read the transcript of Drummond’s full speech here.

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