21 African news organizations selected for 2022 Google News Initiative $150,000 fund
Business Technology

21 African news organizations selected for 2022 Google News Initiative $150,000 fund

Google has revealed the winners of the third Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge, which included 34 media platforms. These honorees are from Africa, the Middle East, Israel, and Turkey, and they were chosen for their commitment to promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion in the journalistic sector.

There were 21 awardees from 10 African nations on the 2022 list (Uganda-1, South Africa-5, Nigeria-5, Niger-1, Morocco-1, Kenya-2, Egypt-2, Congo-2, Burundi-1, Burkina Faso-1). The projects of these beneficiaries were chosen from hundreds of applications submitted from 42 countries. A set of criteria was used to make the final selection, which included innovation, influence on the news ecosystem, diversity, equity, inclusion, inspiration, and feasibility.

Traditional publishers, news start-ups, and associations looking to establish creative digital media projects have a rare opportunity to propose their ideas and project plans through GNI. Selected projects will receive $150,000 in financing and up to 70% of the overall project cost.

Compared to prior GNI innovation challenges in the region, applications from news organizations engaging in fact-checking operations increased by 118%. In addition, the number of suggested initiatives involving artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) ideas increased dramatically. This illustrates the movement in the news ecosystem toward innovative new technology and data.

The GNI Innovation Challenge aims to empower news organizations worldwide that are more focused on new ideas in online journalism. This challenge seeks to assist these organizations in finding new paths to sustainability while learning more about their community.

The first Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge awarded cash to 21 initiatives in 13 countries in 2020. Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Turkey, and the UAE were among the recipients.
Since 2019, the Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge has been running in the area, with 43 applications chosen from 18 countries in the first two rounds.
The 2019 and 2021 Innovation Challenges winners replied to a call for ideas to increase reader engagement and/or explore new business models. Among the recommendations were digital membership systems and Arabic language search capabilities.

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