18 Feb 2020

Announcing the BGV teams of the Future of News Pilot Fund

By Nelly Lavielle

Today we’re excited to announce the teams on the BGV track of the Future of News Pilot Fund. Over the next months we’ll be working with eight teams with bold ideas to change the way we consume news and report on public-interest news issues that matter most.

The eight teams have been selected out of a pool of over 178 applications from a range of organisations, from local and national newsrooms to tech-enabled businesses paving the way for sustainable journalism.

This pilot fund in partnership with Nesta is in response to the challenges laid out in the Cairncross Review and aims to support innovative ideas to improve the financial sustainability of and reimagine engagement with public interest news.

Valerie Mocker, Director of the Future News Fund Pilot Fund at Nesta, said:

“Public interest news is such a vital part of our democratic immune system, so it’s important we ensure it is fit for the future and for everyone. The innovators we are funding are trying to transform the system, challenging how we engage audiences in the news process and trying out new models for financial sustainability.”

Paul Miller, Managing Partner and CEO of Bethnal Green Ventures , said:

“We’re excited to kick off the programme today and support the eight ventures over the coming months. Now more than ever we need new approaches to public interest news and find sustainable models for journalism in the UK.”

Here are the eight teams (in alphabetical order) and what they’ll be working on over the next months:

Axate (working in the North West and South)

  • Axate allow users to make casual payments for premium journalism products without the commitment of a subscription. This project will support local news organisations to become more financially sustainable using a 90 day programme to help them to build a business model using the Axate Payment Wallet.


Black Ballad (working in Birmingham)

  • Black Ballad elevate the voices of Black British women across the UK through original and engaging news. They want to launch their reporting with engagement and research activities in regional hubs, including Birmingham.


Entale (working at the national level)

  • Entale is using the funding to incorporate public interest news publishers into their podcast platform and work to develop different payment mechanisms.


Glimpse Protocol (working at the national level)

  • Glimpse is developing new technology to boost revenue for advertisers and publishers through personalised advertising, enabling small publishers to become more sustainable while keeping user data private.


Hashtag Our Stories (working in Birmingham)

  • Hashtag Our Stories is delivering a series of live events and workshops in Birmingham to train marginalised societies to create a mobile journalism platform that can change the public discourse around their communities.


PressPad (working at the national level)

  • PressPad matches young people who have secured internships with free accommodation hosted by media professionals and they will be working with Diversity and Inclusion specialists to develop a bursary scheme to diversify the sector.


#ThisMuchIKnow (working outside London)

  • #ThisMuchIKnow is a news community that encourages more knowledgeable conversations about news. Through the fund’s support, they will be working on growing their audiences outside of London.


WT Social (working at the national level)

  • WT Social is an innovative social media platform for news with a hybrid model of community members and journalists who curate news collaboratively. They will use the funding to support journalists and underserved communities to work collaboratively on public interest news.


There are two more organisations as part of the fund who are in the process of finalising their agreements, they will be announced in due course.

For an overview of all grantees, please visit Nesta’s website here