News organisations are in something of a quandary of late. How do we keep the lights on while also providing high quality reporting?

For the longest time advertising was the solution to this problem but with platforms such as Google and Facebook hovering up advertising revenue because of the reach the platforms have, news websites are in dangerous territory.

Now in a bid to address the problems news houses face, Google is bringing its Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge to Africa as well as the Middle East and Turkey this June.

What is the Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge? Simply put it’s a challenge which calls on news organisations of all sizes to find solutions to increasing engagement with readers through membership programs and the like.

“We’re excited to bring the Google News Initiative Challenge to the region. We want to make sure that all news organisations, large and small, legacy publishers as well as new entrants, have the opportunity to inject new ideas into the regional news industry,” head of the Google News Initative, Ludovic Blecher, said in a statement.

A panel will evaluate the submissions and fund selected projects up to $150k, with funding for up to 70 percent of the total project cost. The funding will be reviewed against several criteria, including a ‘sharing component’ –  for example, a project proposal can include publishing findings or holding a public seminar to encourage applicants to share the knowledge and learnings to others,” Google added.

Project applications will open in June at this website.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]