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Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge applications open in Africa


A few months after expanding Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge to Africa, Google has now announced that accepting application submissions from news organisations in the region, the Middle East and Turkey.

The GNI Innovation Challenge is inviting proposals for projects from news organisations of every size to address increasing engagement with readers and/or exploring new business models in any form such as subscriptions, membership programs, and so on.

Traditional publishers, news startups and associations that aim to build innovative digital media projects are all eligible to apply. A panel will evaluate the submissions and fund selected projects up to $150k, with funding for up to 70 per cent of the total project cost. The funding will be reviewed against several criteria, including a “sharing component” –  for example, a project proposal can include publishing findings or holding a public seminar to encourage applicants to share the knowledge and learnings to others.

Applicants can make project submissions from now until Monday, 02 September 2019 at 23:59 GMT.

Ludovic Blecher, Head of the Google News Initiative Innovation, said “We’re excited to bring the GNI Challenge to the region. We want to make sure that all news organisations, large and small, legacy publishers as well as new entrants, have the opportunity to inject new ideas into the regional news industry.”

Last year, Google announced the Google News Initiative (GNI), the global umbrella that pulls together everything Google does to help news players in their transition to a digital future. The Google News Initiative is Google’s effort to help news players in their transition to a digital future, focusing on three pillars: First, elevating and strengthening quality journalism, second, evolving business models to drive sustainable growth and third, empowering news organisations through technological innovation. Over the last two years Google has trained more than 4000 journalists across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

More information on eligibility, rules and criteria, and funding is available on the GNI website. Applicants may reach out directly to the GNI Project team, by emailing meagnichallenge@google.com. The GNI Project Team will also be holding an online town hall webinar session to give further information and to answer questions. This will take place on Wednesday, 03 July 2019 at 10 AM GMT (11 AM London time).

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I write about tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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