Google Announces HumAngle, Others As Recipients Of Its News Initiative Challenge Fund

The global corporation said that it received 425 applications from 42 countries.

HumAngle has emerged as a recipient of Google’s third Google News Initiative (GNI) challenge fund.

The newsroom was selected among 33 others as beneficiaries of the initiative, which is part of Google’s $300 million commitment to support the sustainability of media platforms in the digital era. Since its launch in 2018, over 200 innovators have participated in the programme, which has supported them to implement their creative journalism-related initiatives. 

According to Google, the innovation challenge and each of its projects ” represent the best of the best ideas in advancing digital news media.”

Google also notes that selecting a project for funding is a testament to the project having “meaningful impact and inspiration.”

HumAngle, alongside other recipients, had to meet all five requirements (inspiration, diversity, equity and inclusion, impact on the news ecosystem and feasibility) set by the global corporation.

The newsroom’s winning project for the challenge is HumAngle Membership, stylised HumAngle+, an innovative community for conflict, humanitarian and development reports with data insights, explainers and highly interactive and immersive reports. 

The membership community will be optimised for innovative direct reader interaction where the audience has direct access to fresher angles, immersive, interactive reporting; structured to provide scarce nuances and validate the innovation that can be replicated for media sustainability.

The GNI grant will cover up to 70 per cent of the starting operational costs for the membership project.

Other recipients from Nigeria this year include TheCable, which is floating a disability inclusion news app (TheCable DINA); Dubawa, which is starting an automated radio fact-checking application using artificial intelligence; the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), which is launching a news impact project to promote social causes through journalism; and Ripples Nigeria, which hopes to provide access to interactive geo-data through web and mobile applications.

Other awardees from the continent are Niger’s African Development University; Morocco World News; Nation Media Group and WANANCHI from Kenya; Ghana’s Apex Admedia; Burundi’s News Supporters Platform; Congo Check; Association Des Bloguers Du Burkina; and South Africa’s Code for Africa, Daily Maverick, Quote This Woman+, Media Hack Collective, and Open Cities Lab; and Uganda’s Minority Africa

Speaking on the challenge, Ludovich Blecher, Head of Innovation, Google News Initiative, said, “This year, 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, a round of interviews, and a final jury selection, 34 projects from 17 countries were chosen to receive $3.2 million in funding.”

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Chigozie Victor

Chigozie Victor is a journalist and a creative writer. Her work focuses on SGBV, policy and security infrastructure. The graduate of English and Literature from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka is passionate about helping audiences understand salient issues through clear reporting and multimedia journalism. She tweets at @nwaanyi_manaria

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