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Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge

Seeks News Innovators in Middle East, Turkey & Africa

The Google News Initiative (GNI) announces the opening of the third Innovation Challenge in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. The selected innovation projects will be eligible to receive up to $150,000 each in funding.


The GNI Innovation Challenge has been running in the region since 2019 and the first two rounds saw 43 projects selected from 18 countries. Recipients of the 2019 and 2021 Innovation Challenges answered a call for projects which would increase reader engagement and/or explore new business models. The ideas ranged from digital membership schemes to Arabic language search tools.


“Over the past three years, we’ve seen news providers in the region advance a diverse range of topics from data journalism and new readers revenue models to digital newsroom tools designed to tackle climate change reporting,” said Ludovic Blecher, Head of Google News Initiative Innovation. “The Middle East, Turkey and Africa is a region rich with talent, high potential and opportunities. This year, we’re looking forward to seeing fresh ideas and innovative approaches to big challenges the news ecosystem is facing.”


How to apply

News providers of all sizes are eligible to apply. Projects will be evaluated against five criteria: innovation, impact on news ecosystem, diversity, equity and inclusion; inspiration; and feasibility. Applications must be made online via the GNI Innovation Challenge website and are open until Tuesday, April 5 at 23:59 GMT. As part of the application process, applicants are required to produce an explanatory slidedeck. There will be an online town hall on Tuesday, March 8 at 10am GMT. Link here: with a live presentation and the opportunity to ask questions.

About the Innovation Challenge

The GNI Innovation Challenges empower news organisations from around the world to demonstrate new thinking in online journalism, to better understand their communities, and to develop new publishing business models. For more information about the GNI Innovation Challenge program, visit

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