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Google Announces Open Call for Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge 2022

The Google News Initiative (GNI) in a bid to ensure a sustainable, diverse and innovative ecosystem of quality journalism globally has called for an Innovation Challenge within the Journalism Industry.

The GNI Innovation Challenge is a global program that empowers news organizations from around the world to demonstrate new thinking strategies in digital journalism.

The GNI Innovation Challenge is solely for participants in the Middle East, Turkey & Africa region and it is focused on innovation in any form. It follows the first two rounds which saw 43 projects selected from 18 countries. The projects will also produce learnings and thought leadership which will be circulated to the wider industry.

Google has declared that each project will be awarded up to $150,000 or up to a maximum of 70% of the total project budget. These funding levels may be varied by Google in their absolute discretion

Who Is Eligible To Take On This Innovation Challenge?

The GNI Innovation Challenge is open to organizations of every size, including freelancers and sole traders, that aim to produce innovative, original journalism and whose projects focus on innovation towards creating a more sustainable and diverse news ecosystem.

Applicants who are based in the Middle East, Turkey & Africa region.

News organizations who are incorporated in the Middle East, Turkey & Africa region.

Unincorporated organizations who are registered in the region. Even unregistered organizations can participate in the GNI Innovation Challenge provided they have their principal place of business there.

Eligible Projects

All ideas are welcome but it is required of all projects to have clear indicators showing the potential impact of the project from a user perspective and/or from a business perspective. Selected projects will also need to be delivered within one year.

They encourage innovative projects – focused on, but not limited to – the areas below:

Ways to increase reader engagement and/or reader revenue
Developing and diversifying business models
New methods of distribution
Combating misinformation
Increasing trust in journalism
Reaching new audiences
Improving the efficiency of workflows
Exploring new technologies
Evaluation Criteria

Projects will be evaluated against five main criteria:

Innovation: Preferred projects will be innovative and transformative for the applicant and for the users.
Impact on the news ecosystem: Preferred projects should demonstrate potential for significant positive impact for the wider industry. For example, collaborative approaches, open source projects or just ideas that inspire others and nurture innovative thinking for quality journalism are welcome.

Feasibility: Preferred projects should demonstrate their potential through clear indicators and expected metrics. They should set out key risks and mitigation steps.

Diversity: Preferred projects will be able to demonstrate their self-defined commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion whether that is within their audience, organization or content. Google is committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and works to support companies/projects which are in line with such values.

Inspiration: Preferred projects will show willingness to share knowledge and to contribute to the improvement of the ecosystem overall. This could include activities such as attending events, penning blogposts or contributing to case studies. Selected recipients will be required to produce a public report with learnings from the project.

Mode of Application:

Only online applications in English or French will be considered. Applicants are asked to provide descriptions, budget information and a slidedeck via the online application form.

Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge Application Deadline: The closing date for this opportunity is on April 5, 2022(23:59 GMT)

Click here to apply

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