Google selects 22 media innovators for second GNI Innovation Challenge in Africa, others

Written by on July 16, 2021

Google has announced 22 media innovators for a $2.1 million funding through the second Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge for Africa, the Middle East, and Turkey.

Applications for the challenge were opened in February 2021 and ran until April 12, 2021.

A total of 329 established publishers, online-only players, news startups, publisher consortia and local industry associations applied from 35 countries across the regions, showing the diversity and appetite for innovation of the news ecosystem. A rigorous review process, a round of interviews and a jury selection process followed, for the final selection of successful recipients.

The applicants’ innovations addressed issues ranging from audience development to virtual reality storytelling and recipients were able to clearly demonstrate their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Head, Innovation at Google News Initiative (GNI), Ludovic Blecher, said the vibrancy of the markets in the 14 countries projects were selected from could clearly be seen in the vast range of news players, topics and technologies considered.”

GNI is Google’s effort to help news players in their transition to a digital future, focusing on three pillars: elevating and strengthening quality journalism, evolving business models to drive sustainable growth and empowering news organisations through technological innovation.

Blecher added: “We are excited about the 2021 GNI Innovation Challenge projects and we will be following their progress alongside that of previous recipients, who are already impacting the news ecosystem with initiatives that increase reader engagement and make for a more sustainable future for news.”

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