Google News Initiative expands to Africa

Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge has been expanded to Africa, Middle East and Turkey to help news players transition in to a digital future./COURTESY

Kenyan news organisations will now have a chance to participate in the Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge.

The Initiative, which was launched last year and seeks to help news players in their transition to a digital future, has been expanded to Africa, Middle East and Turkey and will be launched in June.

“We’re excited to bring the GNI Challenge to the region. We want to make sure that all news organizations, large and small, legacy publishers as well as new entrants in Africa and the world, have the opportunity to inject new ideas into the regional news industry, ” said Ludovic Blecher, Head of the GNI Innovation Challenge.

News organisations are expected to submit proposals, in June, for projects to address increasing engagement with readers and/or exploring new business models in any form such as subscriptions, membership programs etc.

After evaluation, selected projects will get funding of up to around sh.15m.

“News publishers in many parts of the world are grappling with questions of how quality journalism can thrive in the digital age. With economic models changing and new ways in which people are consuming news, innovation in the news industry has never been more important.” said Madhav Chinnappa, Director for News Ecosystem Development.