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Regional publishers win €500,000 funding for joint podcast project

dniTwo regional publishers have won half a million Euros worth of funding for a joint project aimed at improving their audio output.

Reach plc and JPIMedia have been given the grant by Google’s Digital News Initiative, which will see them work with podcast platform Entale to identify ways to make podcasts and other audio projects sustainable through revenue.

According to a summary of the project, called ‘Laudable’, the three partners will develop a local news platform for audio content, work with newsrooms to develop audio concepts and deliver “compelling audio experience for local audiences in the UK”.

Reach currently runs a number of podcasts across its network of regional titles, hosted by its journalists, on topics ranging from football and music to crime and mental health.

A description of the project on the DNI website states: “Everyone knows podcasts and audio are increasing in popularity, but local news and information has yet to find a sustainable place in the audio world.

“Laudable aims to address this, working with publishers large and small to create sustainable audio content supported by revenue.”

Newsquest succeeded in winning a €398,000 grant from the fund for a new tool which will aid people submitting content to their newspapers.

The ‘Loquial’ scheme will enable members of local communities to submit content “ready-for-publication” by local newsrooms, and the company says the tool will enable its journalists to spend more time on in-depth reporting instead of repurposing and repackaging such content.

Henry Faure Walker, chief executive of Newsquest, said: “We’re really pleased that we have secured Google’s backing for our community content project.

“It’s a service that will enable and encourage local people to share and publish their community news on our platforms – and in so doing free up our valuable journalists’ time to focus on the sort of high impact, in-depth reporting that remains central to the strength and trust of our brands.”

Archant was also awarded funding for a picture archiving project which will help people “discover vintage photographs relating to their lives”.

The scheme, entitled ‘The Story Of…’ is described as “an enticing new way to organise and monetise a rich photographic archive”.


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  • March 21, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    What a farce
    Why are these dinosaur publishers again receiving funds to offset losses which they’ve caused through years of mismanagement and staff reduction ?
    Offloading experienced staff and relying on UGC has been their policy, it’s resulted in inferior papers and now they’re being rewarded financially for it.
    And if Archant want to capitalise on it’s photographic archive by all means let them fund it themselves, all the while the new genuine community news publishers get nothing, it’s a farce and it’s all wrong.
    And they wonder why so many people vote with their feet and no longer buy their papers and why no one has any respect for these crumbling businesses anymore.

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  • March 21, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Prospectus – three full-time members of staff on the Archant scheme, so it’s better equipped than most offices now.

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  • March 21, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Yes @OneTimeSub so I hear!
    What a joke,while genuine new community publishers provide a first class community news service with limited resources and minimal funds, these must be rubbing their hands with glee at being given funded resources while saving on staff salaries for those let go.
    Soon there’ll be no offices however, just poor souls scattered across the county, working alone from a table in their kitchen or in a corner of a cafe in a town where the local newspaper office has been closed,great careers prospects.

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  • March 21, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    “Newsquest succeeded in winning a €398,000 grant from the fund for a new tool which will aid people submitting content to their newspapers.”

    Welcome to the world of WYOPs write your own paper

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  • March 21, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    When I started in journalism and for many years after it would have been anathema for any self-respecting publisher to take money from an outside source because of concerns that the source could try to exert an influence on what went into the publication.

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  • March 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    £398,000 to speed up the process for NQ to fast track and hoover up the public’s submissions,never mind the quality smell the cash.
    The long term effect though will be even worse looking papers and websites than now,stuffed full of amateur content and iPhone pictures which in turn will turn readers away and , as a result turn advertisers off,
    Schemes such as this simply reward incompetence and job cutting, it’s a complete scandal that these groups are being propped up when other smaller true local publishers are once again being overlooked.

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  • March 22, 2019 at 10:29 am

    How desperately sad that some on here are actually so bitter that they even find cause for slating the company that pays their wages for innovations that are good enough to attract funding from Google. It must be eating you up inside Prospectus! Look around you … you are surrounded by colleagues working hard for the future and doing their best. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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  • March 22, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    My JP weekly tried this a couple of years ago. I uploaded user generated content on one occasion but the next time I tried to do it it wasn’t possible. I understand the option had been removed because it wasn’t used.

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  • March 22, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Frank Lee – did you work in Prospect House at the time of Mustard TV, or the Dublin Daily, or the Fens edition of the EDP? There’s innovation and there’s misguided thinking, putting it politely. Prospectus is not wrong.

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  • March 22, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Frank Lee, you are talking nonsense!! I’d rather some hyperlocal or entrepreneur received this funding. Why should some businesses that have failed to manage decline be constantly propped up by the BBC, Google and Facebook.
    It makes me laugh they celebrate success when it wouldn’t be possible without all this support.
    There was outrage in the local press when the taxpayer propped up the banks, but it seems its ok to subsidise local press companies. Maybe we should all chip in and crowdfund to help ease the pain of phone hacking payments too.

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