Google today announced major new efforts to support the news media, pledging to invest $300 million over the next three years to combat fake news, bolster sustainability, and foster new tools. The programs are group under the Google News Initiative and are intended as a global expansion of the Digital News Initiative that has granted tens of millions of dollars to European media in recent years. The GNI initiative cites three specific goals: to highlight accurate journalism while fighting misinformation; help news sites become more sustainable; and create new media tools to assist journalists in their jobs.
Source: Google, The Verge
A fund of up to €450,000 to support cross-border investigative journalism in the European Union is being launched today by the International Press Institute and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom. The Investigative Journalism for Europe (#IJ4EU) fund, backed by a European Commission grant, is intended to foster and strengthen collaboration among EU-based journalists and newsrooms on revelations in the public interest and of cross-border significance. Teams of investigative reporters or media outlets based in at least two EU countries can apply for grants up to €50,000 to produce investigations on a topic of cross-border relevance and public interest.
Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico has resigned after the murder of Jan Kuciak sparked a political scandal. President Andrej Kiska said he would ask Deputy Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini to form a new government. Mr Fico had offered to resign on Wednesday if the ruling coalition was allowed to finish its term. The death of reporter Kuciak has shone a spotlight on corruption in Slovakia, prompting nationwide protests.
The federal government censored, withheld or said it couldn't find records sought by citizens, journalists and others more often last year than at any point in the past decade, according to an Associated Press analysis. The calculations cover eight months under President Donald Trump. People who asked for records under the Freedom of Information Act received censored files or nothing in 78 percent of 823,222 requests. When it provided no records, the government said it could find no information related to the request in a little over half those cases.
Source: Associated Press
A break-in at the INK Centre for investigative Journalism in Gaborone this past weekend has raised concerns that intolerance towards media is growing in Botswana. The break-in at the GIJN member organization came after the center's managing partner, Joel Konopo, was told to report to police in connection with an intelligence report. The report, which was leaked to journalists last year, claimed the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services is running an operation intended to disrupt the opposition ahead of the 2019 election. Police have indicated they may bring charges against INK and other publications under legislation which prohibits the publication of material that may create panic or disturb public peace.
Source: Daily Maverick
The Colombian media company Publicaciones Semana SA will not have to reveal the sources of information for an investigative report published in its magazine Dinero. In late February, the Labor Cassation Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice ruled in the media company's favor by determining that source confidentiality is essential for the circulation of information and its legitimacy. The court ruled that source confidentiality is based on the ability that the journalist has to refrain from revealing the origin, content and/or form of how he accessed the information in order to make matters of public interest known to the community.
Source: Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas