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Google announces winners of GNI Innovation challenge in Middle East, Africa, Turkey

Google has announced winners of its News Initiative Innovation Challenge for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

Okay.ng recalls that in June 2019 opened the journalism-focused programme that will help publishers earn money and fight fake news.

The GNI Innovation Challenges is part of Google’s $300 million commitment to help journalism thrive in the digital age, saw news innovators step forward with new thinking.

Google received 527 applications from 35 countries. After a rigorous review, a round of interviews and a final jury selection process, we selected 21 projects from 13 countries to receive $1.93 million in funding. There are 7 projects from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa respectively.

The call for applications listed four criteria: impact, feasibility, innovation and inspiration, and the successful projects clearly demonstrated all four.

Here are just a few of the awardees:

Demirören Teknoloji Anonim Şirketi in Turkey wants to solve the tagging process for the Turkish language to help with the news discovery distribution process. Currently this work requires cumbersome manual work from their journalists, taking a precious share of their time.

Daily news publisher Israel Hayom will be creating a loyalty scheme where online users get real-life rewards in the form of tickets or money-saving offers.

Nas News wants to engage Iraq’s citizens in video debates for positive change with a mobile-first social and news platform that allows users to read and debate on local and national topics.

L’Orient le Jour in Lebanon wants to build a new loyalty plan to offer special and personalized privileges to subscribers via an interactive platform.

The National in the UAE will develop a service that converts quality text news into audio in real-time, in both English and Arabic.

Ringier Africa Digital Publishing in Nigeria will be increasing personalization across their platform using a blend of prediction, recommendation, and local information pages to increase user engagement.

Here is the full list of winners here.




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Farouk Mohammed

Farouk Mohammed is a Head Editor at Okay Nigeria (Okay.ng). He has been publishing for 5 years and focused more on Local/World News on Okay.ng
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