Google and French press association AIPG have launched the first call for projects to be funded by the Google-AIPG Press Digital Innovation Fund for French publishers (or the FINP, to use its French acronym).
The two parties reached agreement in February after the AIPG lobbied government on behalf of its membership, which voiced serious concerns over who profits from their output. French newspapers and magazines argued that Google was earning advertising revenue it did not deserve. Google, on the other hand, countered that if it were not for its search engine, their content would reach fewer eyeballs.
As part of the compromise, Google agreed to support the national and regional press. The digital innovation fund for French publishers intends to disburse EUR 60 million over three years in supporting online press activities, including those of internet-only “pure players”. The fund can provide up to EUR 2 million per project, providing this is no more than 60 percent of its total budget.
Left-leaning newspaper Liberation’s director of online operations, Ludovic Blecher, has been hired to run the FINP after spending a year in the US as a Fellow at Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism, where he studied journalism monetisation models and publishing innovation.
Candidates have until 10 October to submit their projects. The awarding committee will meet seven days later to assess the first round or candidates.
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