News agency SWNS has been awarded a six-figure grant by Google to develop a new content syndication platform.
It is one of 17 UK news organisations to win grants totalling £2.8m from the Google Digital News Initiative. The internet giant plans to hand out £119m in grants to innovative digital journalism projects across Europe.
SWNS said it will use the money to develop a content management system which provides "seamless delivery of news, pictures and video to customers and a better deal for contributors through total transparency, better market reach and faster payments".
SWNS director Martin Winter said: “We are thrilled that Google has recognised our ambition to change the market through a combination of technology and good old-fashioned journalism.
“Technology presents wonderful opportunities for journalism but it can only go so far. You still need people behind the tech to spot the potential, build stories and sell the product. Our new system brings together the best of both worlds.
“It’s great to see Google investing in grassroots journalism and sharing our vision of a bright future for both the regional and national press in the UK.”
The new platform will be built by Bristol-based digital agency Omni and SWNS hopes to launch the project on to the market by the summer.
SWNS picture editor Jon Mills said: "We are already fortunate to represent so many skilled and passionate photographers and journalists.
"It is tremendously exciting to be working on this project to bring them – and the wider industry – a better offering than ever before."
SWNS has more than 150 staff at nine offices from Scotland to Cornwall.
Other British Google grant winners include:
Local World, which has developed ten evening local newspaper apps
Trinity Mirror, awarded a six-figure sum to develop its news aggregator app Perspecs
- The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which was awarded £520,000 to set up a network of journalists using coding and computer technology to analyse databases and generate local stories.