Newsquest has won €398,000 (£345,165) in funding from Google to develop a tool to help members of the public submit content “ready-for-publication” in its local news titles.
The money is the latest awarded by the tech giant through its Digital News Innovation fund, a €150m (£130m) pot shared out over three years to support the development of new digital journalism business ideas.
Newsquest, which publishes more than 150 local newspapers, including regional dailies the Herald in Scotland and the News and Star in Cumbria, describes the service as a “community news project”.
It said the service, “a set of user-friendly publishing tools”, will enable the public to “harness the trusted environment and wide reach of their local newsbrand” to share their news and content within their community.
Added Newsquest: “It will also provide efficiency for newsrooms – time saved repurposing and repackaging hyperlocal community content will be reallocated to more in-depth reporting from professional journalists.”
Newsquest chief executive Henry Faure Walker said: “It’s a service that will enable and encourage local people to share and publish their community news on our platforms – and in so doing free up our valuable journalists’ time to focus on the sort of high impact, in-depth reporting that remains central to the strength and trust of our brands.”
The publisher said its Camera Club, which publishes amateur photographs in its news titles, has more than 30,000 members submitting thousands of photos to its newsbrands every week.
The DNI Fund is part of the Google News Initiative, which it launched last year with the aim to “help build a stronger future for news”.