Open Source - Sharing new technology ideas with the news community

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Having open source elements in DNI funded projects is one way they can have a wider impact on the news ecosystem. Here you find a small selection of projects where the recipients have provided open source links or repositories.

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Sharing Open Source DNI Fund
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The DNI

The DNI Innovation Fund is supportive of organisations and individuals who share their experience and project learnings with others. Open source elements is one way projects can show their wider impact on the news ecosystem. Open source refers to any programme whose source code is made available for use or modification. We’ve taken some time to collect a small selection of ten projects where the recipients have provided open source links or repositories:

  1. Atanas Tchobanov received €20,000 in round 1 for a tool to produce, search and browse encrypted data sets called Cryptarsi. Cryptarsi has been designed for investigative journalists, but can be useful in many other  fields, where data confidentiality is required. Available on GitHub.
  2. Based on an open source technology stack, the Live Coverage Ecosystem project from Sourcefabric in the Czech Republic seeks to significantly lower the barriers to entry for realtime coverage and live blogging for all news media. They received €237,339 in round 1 for a solution based on a two – way syndication of resources between participating media outlets including news agencies and their customers. Available here.
  3. In the UK Tomas Petricek has created tools for creating open data visualisations that empower the reader to actively engage and explore data further. The computer scientist received €50,000 for "The Gamma project" to enable data journalists to create open data – driven articles that are linked directly to the data source. See the source code here.
  4. “There are many topics that local communities regard as particularly pressing, but journalists usually only discover them by accident” says AZ Management Services in Switzerland. This inspired their idea to create a platform where citizens’ concerns can be collected and rated on a municipal level. That was the goal of “Project Iris”, which received €202,000 and has released this source code into the public domain.
  5. Together with news agencies and publishers, the Slovenian NGO Danes je nov dan, Inštitut za druga vprašanja (Today is a new day, Institute for other studies) works on “Parlameter”. It’s a parliamentary monitoring tool that enables users to gain unique insight into the work of their representatives. By analysing data gathered from parliamentary sources and visualising it in embeddable information cards, the €331,860 project allows journalists to save time and easily enhance their online articles with relevant interactive content. With Parlameter Journalists can focus on analysing the political landscape and telling the story. 
  6. Transparency International Hungary received €43,905 to develop a Prototype to store and display regularly checked and refreshed data as well as by producing the data mining software to automatise data collection and conversion. The Open Source Tool "Assist" will help Journalists to find and convert data which can contribute greatly to the availability and broad use of essential facts and  figures. 
  7. NacióDigital, Catalonia’s leading online news website wants to develop an open Source Data Journalism tool - NacióDataTool - which is easy to use for journalists, responsive, open, exportable to other media and constantly updated with new versions.
  8. The German TAZ (die tageszeitung) is developing “paywall with a human face". The project will build upon the Taz’s owner/ reader community’s strong commitment, and will introduce numerous reader–friendly initiatives for both short – and long–term support, including voluntary subscriptions and/or crowdfunding native to taz.de. At the end, it will be an open source solution to enable also other online news publishers to introduce a  flexible voluntary scheme of payments and other types of support from readers to the publisher.
  9. “Clickbait violates journalistic codes of ethics but there is more to it than meets the eye. Clickbait has been on the rise for the past years, and while in its current form it is likely to become just another form of spam” says Dr. Potthast from Bauhaus University Weimar. That’s why he and his colleagues are carrying out applied research and development into technology for clickbait analytics with a €50,000 project called simply, Clickbait.
  10. UK Citizens Online Democracy were awarded €203,500 to produce Alaveteli Professional – a set of online Freedom of Information request and management tools for journalists in the UK and the Czech Republic. The code will be available here.


Download the full DNI Innovation Fund report 2016-2017 here to read more about our funded projects and key insights from the report.