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VIENNA - The International Press Institute on Thursday awarded its 2012 prizes for innovation in journalism to 14 media groups, including the AFP Foundation, the agency's non-profit media training arm.
"Over the next one to two years, the deserving winners will -- through some very innovative projects in Europe, Africa and the Middle East -- make a significant imprint on media, particularly in developing countries, and impact how journalists from all mediums do their jobs in the 21st century," said IPI executive director Alison Bethel McKenzie.
The Vienna-based IPI, a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, made its awards to media such as the British Guardian newspaper, the IREX non-government organization and the US Poynter Institute for training journalists.
The 14 prize winners will share 1.7 million euros, granted by Google, to develop their projects.
The AFP Foundation project, being run in association with the journalism department of South Africa's Witwatersrand University, aims to create a network of fact-checking websites at teaching centers across Africa and throughout the developing world, starting in South Africa.
The websites will use a combination of professional journalism skills and crowd-sourced information to hold the claims of South Africa's leading public figures up to open, non-partisan, scrutiny.
"We firmly believe in the power of independent and responsible journalism to help improve people's lives," said AFP Foundation chairman Emmanuel Hoog, also the chairman of AFP.
"This innovative project, combining the skills of traditional journalism and the power of the crowd to hold public figures to account, advances that aim and we are very pleased to have been selected."