Mubasher: The Google News Initiative (GNI) has launched the third Innovation Challenge in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa to enable news organisations across the world to produce new ideas in online journalism and develop new publishing business models.

The selected innovation projects will be granted with up to $150,000 each in funding, according to a press release on Wednesday.

The projects' evaluation will be based on five criteria comprising innovation; impact on the news ecosystem; diversity, equity, and inclusion; inspiration; and feasibility.

Since 2019, the GNI has selected 43 projects from 18 countries across the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, with 19 projects from eight countries in MENA funded in the last three years.

The Head of Google News Initiative Innovation, Ludovic Blecher, said: "Over the last two funding rounds, we have seen news providers in the region advance a diverse range of topics from data journalism and new readers revenue models to digital newsroom tools designed to tackle climate change reporting."

Meanwhile, the Head of Communications for Google in MENA, Joyce Baz, added: "Google's NewsLab training has been running in MENA for 10 years and has since trained 15,000 people including journalists, news professionals, and journalism students."

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