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Global tech giant, Google, yesterday announced five Nigerians and 29 other winners of the third Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge from Africa, the Middle East, Israel and Turkey.
Chief Innovation Officer, Google News Initiative, Ludovich Blecher, said in a statement that the winners were selected for their initiatives promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in the journalism industry.
Blecher said the 34 projects from grantees from 17 countries were chosen to receive $3.2 million in funding.
He said the GNI Innovation Challenge is part of Google’s $300 million commitment to help journalism thrive in the digital age.
According to him, GNI has seen information innovators forge ahead with many exciting initiatives, demonstrating new thinking.
“This year, we are looking to expand our criteria to include digital innovation initiatives that promote goals such as reader engagement, new reader revenue, subscriptions, misinformation, among others.
”After an in-depth evaluation, a series of interviews and a final jury selection, 34 projects from 17 countries were chosen to receive funding of 3.2 million dollars.
“The winners met all five criteria, including impact on the information ecosystem, equity and inclusion, inspiration, innovation, diversity and feasibility,” he said. declared.
According to him, some of the recipients include WANANCHI Reporting from Kenya, Dubawa from Nigeria and Quote This Woman+ from South Africa.
He said WANANCHI Reporting provides features that empower unserved and underserved Kenyans in remote and excluded areas to tell their stories.
He said the characteristics of the unserved and underserved highlights diversity in a way that avoids misrepresentation by allowing them to contribute to the information ecosystem, through their interactive platform focused on technology.
Blecher said Dubawa in Nigeria was a digital platform that helped newsrooms source and source quality images from local African photographers and photojournalists.
He said that starting with Nigeria, ATLAS was looking to host relevant news and editorial images curated by local African photographers and photojournalists that anyone could download instantly.
He said South Africa’s Quote This Woman+, an online interactive database tool and solution, has helped journalists and newsrooms efficiently access a variety of expert sources for their coverage of the news.
According to him, the database provides a growing community of African + women experts from all fields, including science, public health, economic policy, politics, education reform, environmental justice and more. Again.
Blecher said the 2022 challenge received a total of 425 submissions from 42 countries, representing a 27% increase in the total number of entries.
He said that, notably, there was a significant increase in applications from news organizations undertaking fact-checking activities at 118% compared to previous innovation challenges in the region.
He said proposed projects that used artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) also showed significant growth of 92%, reflecting a trend towards adopting new cutting-edge technologies and data.
He said the recipients came from South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Congo, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Niger, Uganda and Burundi.

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