Nesta, the global innovation foundation, today announces the innovative ideas that will receive funding through the Future News Pilot Fund. The fund, run by Nesta and funded by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), is a direct recommendation from the Cairncross Review. The Review aimed to give tangible responses to the challenges in the declining public interest news sector.
The pilot fund received 178 applications from a diverse range of organisations, from local and national newsrooms to technology startups. The programme, which begins today, will see the winners of this round test and prototype a variety of ideas over the coming five months, including:
However, gaps still remain across the country. Previously released Nesta research found that communities that tend to have higher levels of unemployment and lower levels of education are particularly affected by a decline in journalistic activity and this can often play out in a North/South divide. It’s important that any future plans recognise where these communities are and provide additional support or resources to them.
Nesta will be sharing lessons learned from the fund to help government and the wider media sector find pathways to a future where everyone across the country has equal and high-quality access to public interest news.
Valerie Mocker, Director of the Future News Fund Pilot Fund at Nesta, said:
“Public interest news is such a vital part of our democratic immune system, so it’s important we ensure it is fit for the future and for everyone. The innovators we are funding are trying to transform the system, challenging how we engage audiences in the news process and trying out new models for financial sustainability.
“We are excited to work closely with the innovators to develop their ideas and importantly, to share these learnings with the wider news sector. This pilot is only a first step but an important one towards reviving public interest news for everyone across the country.”
Paul Miller, Managing Partner and CEO of Bethnal Green Ventures , said:
“We’re excited to kick off the programme today and support the nine ventures over the coming months. Now more than ever we need new approaches to public interest news and find sustainable models for journalism in the UK.”
The projects Nesta will be supporting are:
#ThisMuchIKnow (working outside London)
Axate (working in the North West and South)
Black Ballad (working in Birmingham)
Bristol Cable (working in Bristol)
Entale (working at the national level)
Glimpse Protocol (working at the national level)
Hashtag Our Stories (working in Birmingham)
Manchester Meteor (working in Manchester)
Media Trust (working at the national level)
mySociety (working at the national level)
New Internationalist (working across regional hubs)
openDemocracy (working in Manchester)
Our Economy (working in Birmingham)
PressPad (working at the national level)
Shout Out UK (working in regional hubs)
Tortoise Local (working in Grimsby and Plymouth)
WT Social (working at the national level)
There are two organisations still in grant negotiations and they will be announced in due course.
For further information on analysis or research and any other press enquiries, please contact - Wallis Grant, [email protected] - 0207 438 2581 / 07557 162 651
Definition of Public Interest News
In this instance, Nesta defines public interest news as news that covers facts and information to help hold the powerful and elected to account and to allow communities to campaign for the issues that matter to them.
About the Future News Pilot Fund
Following a recommendation in the Cairncross Review, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) commissioned Nesta to run a £2 million fund to help prototype new ideas that could reimagine engagement with audiences and test new approaches to financial sustainability for the sector. The fund will provide grants between £20,000 to £100,000 until June 2020 with grantees split into two tracks; one for idea prototyping run by Nesta and one for accelerating commercial businesses run by Bethnal Green Ventures.
Nesta is a global innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better.
Over 20 years we’ve been tackling the big challenges facing society through research, evidence and policy, practical programmes, making grants and investments, and running experiments. We use these methods to make positive change happen where it matters to everyone, from the frontiers of personalised healthcare to stretched public services and a fast-changing jobs market.
Nesta is based in the UK and supported by a financial endowment. We work with partners around the globe to bring bold ideas to life to change the world for good.
About Bethnal Green Ventures
Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV) is Europe’s leading early stage VC in tech for good.
BGV invests in ambitious teams using technology to tackle pressing social and environmental challenges, helping them launch and scale their businesses through their flagship Tech for Good programme and providing follow-on funding.
Since 2012, BGV invested in over 120 businesses, of which more than half are still active, successfully blending purpose with profit, tackling 13 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Bethnal Green Ventures is a certified BCorp based in London, fueling the maturing movement of Tech for Good.