Google cash for AFP automated content project

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Agence France-Presse has won a share of Google's 150,000 Euros Digital News Initiative fund.

AFPData, a project aimed at developing the use of data in newsrooms, brings automated text specialist Syllabs, data optimisation platform OpenDataSoft and laptop user experience designers together with the agency in a data-driven editorial ecosystem.

Components include creating original datasets with high editorial added value, and making them available to newsrooms via API or download, and their use to automatically or semi-automatically produce live news content.

The datasets will be generated by AFP, its partners or AFP-selected open-data sources. AFP says the objective is to develop datajournalism practices both within AFP and in its clients' newsrooms.

"Many newsrooms struggle to adopt datajournalism techniques due to lack of time and resources," said a spokesperson. "At the same time, fact-checking, contextualisation, multiplication of sources and transparency are key factors in the credibility of media organisations in the era of post-truth and information overload."

AFPData aims to make original, reliable, selected and indexed datasets easily accessible in order to assist newsrooms. The project also covers the use of enriched data for automated or semi-automated production and monetisation of new types of content.

AFPInteractive, a new interactive infographics product, also received support from the fund.

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