Google News’ Middle East Journalism Challenge gives regional news networks the chance to pitch their innovative ideas for digital journalism and compete for funding.
The Google News Initiative has been launched for the second year in a row in the Middle East and Africa, hoping to push regional news organizations to get their creative juices flowing and propel journalism with fresh ideas.
The idea is to create innovative concepts that increase reader interaction and implement new business models to build a strong future for journalism in the digital world. It’s like a pitch contest for the world of journalism. Last year, a UAE-based newspaper presented a project that converts written news into real-time audio in English and Arabic. In Lebanon, a media entity developed a loyalty membership that offers special benefits to subscribers. Meanwhile, Jordanian podcast platform ‘Sowt’ created a hosting platform for their Arabic news podcast.
Google chose 21 projects from 13 countries in 2020, of which Egypt was unfortunately not included.
The submitted projects will be evaluated based on their impact on the news environment, innovation, diversity, and feasibility. If selected, they’ll be able to get up to USD150,000 to fund their vision. The submission door is now open until April 12th. Any news platform is eligible to apply within the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.