The recipients, among them 21 journalists and publishers from 10 countries in Africa, were selected for their work in promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in the journalism industry.

The GNI Innovation Challenge is part of Google's USD$300-million commitment to helping journalism thrive in the digital era and has seen news innovators step forward with initiatives demonstrating new thinking.

Among the 34 recipients drawn from Israel, Turkey, Middle East and Africa are:
  • Daily Maverick
  • Quote This Woman+
  • Media Hack Collective
  • Open Cities Lab, and
  • Code for Africa (CfA).
"In 2022, we sought to broaden our criteria to include digital innovation initiatives that promote goals like reader engagement, new reader income, subscriptions, disinformation among other things. Following a thorough assessment, numerous interviews, and a final jury selection, 34 projects from 17 countries were chosen to receive UD$3.2-million in funding," says Ludovich Blecher, head of innovation at Google News Initiative.

The recipients met all criteria requirements including:
  • impact on the news ecosystem
  • equity and inclusion
  • inspiration
  • innovation
  • diversity, and
  • feasibility.
Some of the African recipients include:
  • Kenya's WANANCHI Reporting
  • Nigeria’s Dubawa, and
  • South Africa's Quote This Woman+.
South Africa's Quote This Woman+ is an interactive online database solution and tool that helps journalists and newsrooms efficiently access diverse expert sources for their news coverage. The database provides a growing community of African women+ experts from all fields, including:
  • science
  • public health
  • economic policy
  • politics
  • education reform, and
  • environmental justice.
WANANCHI Reporting provides features that allow both the unserved and underserved Kenyans from remote and excluded areas to tell their stories and highlight diversity in a manner that avoids misrepresentation. It allows them to contribute to the news ecosystem through their technology-driven interactive platform.

Nigeria's Dubawa is a digital platform that helps newsrooms source and license quality images from local African photographers and photojournalists. Starting with Nigeria, ATLAS is looking to host relevant news images and editorial images curated from local African photographers and photojournalists, which anyone can instantly download.

The 2022 challenge received a total of 425 submissions from 42 countries, representing a 27% increase in total applications. Notably, there was a significant increase in applications from news organisations undertaking fact-checking activities at 118% when compared to previous innovation challenges in the region.

Proposed projects which use artificial intelligence and machine learning also showed significant growth (92%), reflecting a trend across the news ecosystem to embrace cutting-edge new technologies and data, according to the initiative.

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