GNI is Google’s global effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age. Through rounds of regional funding, the GNI Innovation Challenges is supposed to empower news innovators from around the world to demonstrate new thinking in online journalism and the development of new publishing business models.
The Challenge will focus on reader engagement and new business models in any form. Google will fund selected projects up to USD $150,000 and will finance up to 70% of the total project cost.
The application window will open on 12 June 2019 at 10 GMT (11am London time), and close on Monday, September 2 at 23:59 GMT. Only online applications in English will be considered. You will be asked to provide descriptions, detailed project plans and budget information via our online application form.
The Africa Innovation Challenge is open to organizations of every size, including freelancers and sole traders, that aim to produce innovative, original journalism and to enlighten citizens with trustworthy journalistic content, whose projects focus on encouraging a more sustainable news ecosystem.
Google’s encouraging innovative projects – focused on but not limited to- the areas below:
- Business Models
Projects can be experimental but must be measurable with well-defined goals. Applicants should clearly underline the opportunities of the project by providing clear key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs should have a significant digital component.
How will submissions be reviewed
Projects will be evaluated against four main criteria:
- Impact on the news ecosystem: Projects should demonstrate potential for significant positive impact on the creation of new revenue streams and/or change the way people consume digital news.
- Innovation: Preferred projects will be innovative (use of technology, business model, new reader engagement approaches etc) and be transformative for the applicant and for users.
- Feasibility: Projects should demonstrate clear indicators and metrics, or even a business plan when relevant, and set out key risks and mitigation steps.
- Inspiration: How can the project help news organizations learn from each other? Willingness to share knowledge, open source code or/and to contribute to the improvement of the ecosystem overall.
What’s up for grabs?
Google will fund up to $150k for selected projects. Special discretion on the total project cap may be considered by The Jury depending on the scale and impact of a very large collaborative effort. Google will finance up to 70% of the overall costs of the selected projects. The remaining self-funded costs can be operational costs. Eligible expenses include personnel costs, engineering costs and the purchase or licensing of any equipment, tools, hardware, software and other assets or materials needed for the project as well as marketing expenses. Editorial expenses are not part of the eligible costs and will not be covered.