Google Launches Application To Increase Reader Engagement, Explores New Business Model For Publishers, Bloggers 

Google has launched the second Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge in Africa, the Middle East and Turkey with a call for projects that increase reader engagement and explore new business models for media.

The application is expected to run from February 23 to April 12, 2021, as established publishers, online-only players, bloggers, news startups, publisher consortia and local industry associations are eligible to apply.

According to the head of innovation, GNI, Ludovic Blecher, selected projects would be funded up to $150,000 and up to 70 per cent of the total project cost.

“Funding is not available for editorial projects, but should instead be focused on reader engagement and exploring new business models. Google does not take any equity or IP in any projects or submissions.

“We are looking forward to seeing new ideas, projects and big bets come out of the Middle East, Turkey and Africa, a region rich with talent, potential and opportunity,” Blecher said.

He further noted that applications must be made via the website, adding that there will be an online town hall on March 3, 2021, with a live presentation on how to apply, with an opportunity to pose questions to the GNI team.

The first GNI Innovation Challenge saw 21 projects in 13 countries including Nigeria, and the awardees receiving funding in 2020

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