30 April 2015


The DNA of Google's DNI

The Global Editors Network (GEN) is one of the founding partners of Google's new Digital News Initiative (DNI): a €150 million euro ($163 million dollar) fund for the invention of new digital news products. But who will benefit from the fund and how will the process work? Madhav Chinnappa, Head of Strategic Relations, News and Publishing at Google EMEA, will be the new head of the DNI. Here, he talks to GEN:                          

Maddhav Chinappa

What is the DNA of DNI?

The DNI is all about a framework for dialogue, a shared goal of a sustainable news ecosystem and the promotion of innovation in digital journalism through on-going collaboration and dialogue between the tech and news sectors. There are three pillars: product development, supporting innovation, training and research.

Is it only open to European media organisations, or can startups, NGOs and universities also apply?

Overall, it is an open initiative so that organisations can choose to participate as suits them. For example, the innovation pillar will be open to anyone working on innovation in online news in Europe - anyone will be able to apply, including national and regional publishers, new players and pure players.

Who will select the relevant projects?

We are working out all the logistics and will be updating the website - www.digitalnewsinitiative.com - as things develop.

When will you be able to say that the DNI is a success?

DNI is about a framework for dialogue and collaboration, so there is no specific end goal; it is more a process or a journey and we are very much at the beginning of it!

What will be your role at the DNI?

I'll be leading the project, reporting to Carlo D'Asaro Biondo, Google's President of Strategic Partnerships, Europe.