As part of the ongoing commitment to support the news industry around the world, Google is launching their third Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge in Middle East, Turkey and Africa . Funding up to $150,000 is available via this open call for any digital innovative project and all news providers are eligible, regardless of size.
The program has been running in the region since 2019 and the first two rounds saw 43 projects selected from 18 countries. Those recipients answered a call for projects which would increase reader engagement and/or explore new business models. The ideas ranged from novel membership strategies to Arabic language search tools.
How to apply
Applications are open from now until Tuesday, April 5 2022. Established publishers, online-only players, news startups, publisher consortia, freelancers, press agencies, broadcasters and local industry associations are all eligible to apply.
Projects will be evaluated against five criteria: innovation, impact on news ecosystem, diversity, equity and inclusion; inspiration; and feasibility. The range of projects could be varied — Google is intentionally not being prescriptive and instead welcome your boldest ideas.
This could be anything from using Artificial Intelligence in the newsroom to diversifying your business model or figuring out ways to increase audience engagement or even reach new audiences. Whatever it is, google wants to hear your sharpest solutions to the challenges faced on the ground.
The selected projects will be eligible to receive up to $150,000, not to exceed 70% of the total project cost. Please note that Google does not take any equity or intellectual property rights in any projects or submissions.
google news will also be holding an online town hall on Tuesday, March 8 at 10am GMT with a live presentation and the opportunity to ask questions. For more information about the challenge, visit g.co/newsinnovation.