Nesta Future News Fund | Ping!

Nesta Future News Fund | Ping!

Trends | A data visualisation and industry insight tool

Project overview
Omni Digital previously produced the core Ping! platform supported by the Digital News Innovation Fund (DNI), a European programme that’s part of the Google News Initiative.

The platform’s goal is to generate new revenue streams to better support independent and community news publishers, whilst ensuring regional and national media benefit from quick access to hyperlocal stories, ultimately creating more diverse and balanced news ecosystem.

Our solution
The Nesta Future News Fund enabled the addition of Ping!-Trends, a way of identifying trending topics through more fine-grained tagging.

Using a combination of data visualisation, more fine-grained tagging and the better identification of trending topics, the platform extension, Ping!-Trends, better enables the surfacing and grouping of news stories created at community and hyperlocal level. These stories can then be legitimately used and journalists can be credited and financially compensated by regional and national media for their work.

The impact
The people who will benefit most from this idea are:

  • Community and hyperlocal media through testing new, sustainable, revenue streams and attribution for their work
  • National and regional media, e.g. feature writers, who will be able to legitimately enrich their stories with hyperlocal contextual case studies and identify trends to create a story of regional or national importance

This extension will help build resilience of hyperlocal media as they receive a share of payment for their stories. Stories have more chance of being picked up and appropriately attributed in regional and national media which in turn will incentivise and stimulate more story production.

Data visualisation tools within the system now allow us to identify additional opportunities such as news black holes, by area. This can help the Independent Community News Network (ICNN) better support local areas to ensure more balanced coverage across the UK.

The system as a whole will better innovate the media supply chain and will bring about a step change in transparency of digital markets and the ability of local and community media to better understand the playing field in which they operate.