Google Opens Application For the Second Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge

Google News Initiative, Google's global effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age.

Technology giants, Google announce a call for application for its second Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge which aims to recognize new and innovative projects that increase reader engagement and explore new business models in the media space. GNI is Google’s global effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age.

Through rounds of regional funding, the GNI Innovation Challenge empowers news innovators globally to demonstrate new thinking in online journalism and the development of new publishing business models. Thus, organizations of every size, established publishers, online-only players, news startups, publisher consortia, freelancers and sole traders in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa regions [countries listed in Terms & Conditions] are encouraged to apply.

Shortlisted applicants/projects will receive a fund up to USD$150,000 (approx. UGX549,102,900). Special discretion on the total project cap may be considered by The Jury depending on the scale and impact of a very large collaborative effort.

Google will finance up to 70% of the overall costs of the selected projects. The remaining self-funded costs can be operational costs. Eligible expenses include personnel costs, engineering costs and the purchase or licensing of any equipment, tools, hardware, software and other assets or materials needed for the project as well as marketing expenses.

Editorial expenses are not part of the eligible costs and will not be covered. Funding may not be spent on general and overhead costs.

“Funding is not available for editorial projects, but should instead be focused on reader engagement and exploring new business models. Google does not take any equity or IP in any projects or submissions. We are looking forward to seeing new ideas, projects and big bets come out of the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, a region rich with talent, potential, and opportunity,” said Ludovic Blecher – Head of Google News Initiative Innovation.

The second challenge, follows the highly successful first round which saw 21 projects from 13 countries receive USD$1.93 million in funding. The winning projects were from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Turkey, and the UAE.

Applications for the challenge till April 12th, 2021 (APPLICATION LINK).


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