The Netherlands national news agency (ANP) will provide a children’s news service in collaboration with IT startup Wizenoze. Google announced it will offer funding for this project from the first round of the Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund. The Digital News Initiative (DNI) is a collaboration between Google and news publishers in Europe to support high quality journalism and encourage a more sustainable news ecosystem through technology and innovation.
With this project, ANP and Wizenoze want to make news accessible for young readers. News articles will be selected from the general ANP news and semiautomatically converted to versions with simpler reading levels. Children from 9 to 12 years old and teens from 12 to 15 will be able to read the news on their own reading level.
Diane Janknegt, founder of Wizenoze: “Finding information online that they can understand is far too difficult for children at the moment. This needs and can be much better. That is why we launched Jouwzoekmachine.nl last September. With this search engine, children can search for information on their own reading level. However, a lot of understandable information still is missing. I think it is really great that we will be able to offer understandable news articles to children.”
ANP will provide this children’s newsfeed as a separate service to its customers. The most important news items and images will be offered in the feed. They will be fit to publish directly for apps and websites. In this way, media will be able to provide understandable content for various young audiences.
Guido van Nispen, CEO of ANP: “This project fits our strategy perfectly to innovate on all fronts and to make smart use of new technology. Especially our customers benefit from these types of services. Because of the scalable model of these type of services, we can drastically reduce costs and offer our customers lower prices.
Johan Groeneveld, managing editor at ANP: “We’re looking forward to this new domain in our news service. Our newsrooms already provide the news to a wide variety of audiences and now we can welcome a new inspiring target audience: children. It goes without saying that children from different age groups will contribute in determining the formula for this newsfeed for children.”
Children search online for information already from an early age, but most information that they can find is appropriate. Wizenoze’s mission is to make the internet better for children. The aim is not only to make the internet a safer place for children, but also more appropriate by providing search results for specific reading levels. Wizenoze develops technology based on years of academic research on children’s online search behaviour. As a result, Wizenoze launched Jouwzoekmachine.nl. Companies and organizations can use the Wizenoze technology to easily write content by reading level and to provide a search engine on their own website that takes into account the reading level of the young user.
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