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Google awards Trinity Mirror six-figure sum to help develop app

A Google-backed project has given Trinity Mirror a six-figure sum to fund a new app recently launched by the company.

The undisclosed fee has been awarded by the Google Digital News Initiative to aid with the development of the company’s Perspecs app, which allows readers to see stories from the point of view of up to three rival news sources.

Designed and built in-house by Trinity Mirror’s Product team, Perspecs uses news sources from across the world, from titles such as CNN, GQ and the New York Times.

Examples of how it can be used include the ability to view neutral, left and right-wing political perspectives of the same story, or a home, away or neutral report on a football result.

An impression of how the app looks

An impression of how the app looks

Darren Sher, head of product for Trinity Mirror Regionals, Apps & Email, said: “The funding and recognition from Google is a huge boost for Perspecs. It opens up a number of opportunities to help us build our audience and further develop the infrastructure and reach of the app.

“Currently the app is in beta, so the funding also enables us to focus on building a more stable, scalable and feature rich product.

“The DNI is about supporting innovative digital journalism which sparks new thinking, so we’re really pleased to be recognised in that bracket.”

Launched earlier this month, Perspecs is available on iOS and Android – uses sources from across the world, from titles such as CNN, GQ and the New York Times.

10 comments

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  • March 2, 2016 at 9:15 am
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    Couldn’t Google develop an app to help businesses pay their tax on time?

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  • March 2, 2016 at 10:18 am
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    This makes a mockery of the fund, and confirms many suspicions about the purpose of it.

    Out of interest is HTFP going to look at all who were awarded £, and if any were on the board evaluating submissions?

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  • March 2, 2016 at 1:59 pm
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    Ridiculous waste of time and money, just another vanity project which will soon be spiked (sorry olde English word!). Ps a bit of tighter subbing needed please, Third par and final par are virtually identical. I suspect a bit of cut and paste (new English!)

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  • March 2, 2016 at 2:51 pm
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    I may be in a minority but this sounds quite positive, a newspaper group getting external funding to develop an app.

    I’m sure Google wouldn’t have given them the money if they didn’t think it was a worthy project and they would have had to pass some assessments to get it.

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  • March 2, 2016 at 10:26 pm
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    Is it possible for any publisher to do anything without getting a slagging from the HTFP commenters?

    I can understand the angst when job losses are announced and titles closed. But you also attack any development, whether it’s an office closure (which is surely preferable to job losses), a digital experiment (when digital is undeniably the future for all media) or even a print launch or purchase (as announced by Trinity Mirror and Johnston Press recently).

    All you can offer as an alternative is a la-la-land view that everything would be A-OK if the regional press was taken over by local collectives, ploughing a load of non-existent money into thousands more journalists and more pagination, which will magically transform everyone’s fortunes overnight.

    What a sad, sour, out-of-touch bunch you are.

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  • March 3, 2016 at 1:23 pm
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    Gaslight,

    I admire your optimism, but in trying to cast your sanguine glow over the issues that commenters clearly care quite deeply about, you may be missing the point.

    Yes, people do regularly offer a dour tone (I’m no doubt guilty of that myself, as I’m sure my husband would testify). Yet, if you listen to the mass of complaints on here and use a sensible filter you will gather there are a few questions that simply never get answered by the newspapers we either work for, or were once employed by.

    Take the drive to move into a digital sphere from print, for instance. It’s a big step, and it’s been going on for some years now. But it’s sneaking under the shadow of a burning question that is repeatedly aired on this very forum – how much money is digital actually making?

    I think that, until this one gets a satisfactory answer, it won’t go away. And, even if it does, we’ll quickly find something else to complain about!

    SG.

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  • March 4, 2016 at 5:05 pm
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    Well, it’s given me a job after journalism redundancy. So I’m very happy. It’s also getting positive feedback from around the world. Pity we can’t get any – with two enlightened exceptions – from our own doorstep. People need to accept change. I have and I remember hot metal.

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