We are delighted that Google has made us an offer of funding under the Digital News Initiative for our Local News Engine prototype. Local News Engine (which I have written about in detail here) will mine local public data for leads for local news stories and produce reports customised to fit in with a journalists workflow. Local News Engine aims to help hard pressed local journalists, bloggers etc improve or maintain local scrutiny in the face of scarce or diminishing resources. We plan to bring in the outstanding coding talent of Open Data Services to design and build the software at the heart of the engine. We plan to approach this as an open experiment, publish any code and to blog and write about the journey to a prototype so that as many as possible can learn from our experience, whether it works or not. If you would like to help or take part then drop me a line email@example.com It will take a while to get to contract and get things going but watch this space for updates.
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