The Buzzard: Showing all sides

Germany | Project Type: Large | The Buzzard | Amount Awarded: €50,000

While the personalisation of content is recognised as a powerful advantage for publishers and readers alike, it can mean that people aren’t often exposed to a range of viewpoints on a particular subject. In Leipzig, Germany, a team of journalists and web developers are using €50,000 received from the DNI Fund to train a machine-learning algorithm to burst those bubbles.

The Buzzard website has already built a strong following for curating articles manually, balancing out political bias. “Journalism just needs the power to make itself better heard in times when everyone is screaming for attention online,” says CEO Felix Friedrich, who co-founded The Buzzard with Editor-in-Chief Dario Nassal. “We’re interested in showing all sides of the argument around the biggest debates on our planet, such as climate change, global inequality, capitalism, globalisation and sustainability.”

Journalism just needs the power to make itself better heard in times when everyone is screaming for attention online.

Felix Friedrich
Co-Founder and CEO at The Buzzard

Right now, that’s an extremely time-consuming process that requires extensive research via RSS readers, databases and search engines. However, support from the DNI Fund has enabled The Buzzard to build the first prototype of a technological solution that uses an algorithm to find different viewpoints up to 16 times faster than before. “But these are just the first steps,” Felix adds. “We plan to launch our opinion navigator internally at the end of May 2018. Then we aim to fully launch it in 2019, rolling it out across Europe and then South and North America.”

“This could be the start of a digital marketplace for journalism that links readers and publishers via our online platform, as well as an app. Journalism was made by humans to reveal what the powerful do and we aim to make sure that tradition continues. The potential is huge – our initial thoughts are that we could be achieving revenue of up to €100 million in five years.”

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