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Google in Asia

Supporting news innovation in the Asia Pacific region

A graphic of two people in conversation looking at business graphs

News organizations in Asia Pacific are at the forefront of innovation when it comes to connecting with readers and exploring new business models. We’ve seen this first-hand, working with partners across the region and heard great ideas for encouraging a more sustainable news industry.

To support this innovation, today we’re pleased to announce the third Asia Pacific Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge, as part of our ongoing commitment to support the news industry around the world.

Applications are open to news organizations of all sizes for projects that focus on innovation in the news industry. Previous rounds of the Innovation Challenge supported more than 30 publishers across APAC to develop sustainable business models by diversifying revenue streams and increasing audience engagement.

Some past recipients include:

  • The News Minute in India launched a membership program to turn fans into members.
  • South Korea’s Busan Daily used AI to gain a new understanding of audience preferences and introduced personalization to onsite search, deepening engagement and increasing conversions.
  • The Conversation in Australia developed new community standards and tools to make conversations on its platform safer, more inclusive and constructive.
  • In Pakistan, The Current built a new membership model and tested an alternate stream of revenue for digital news startups.
  • In Japan, Asahi Shimbun focused on tipping and donations as new means of reader revenue.
  • Kumparan in Indonesia created a donation process so people can pledge money directly from news platforms.
  • The women-run rural news outlet Khabar Lahariya in India made the transition to digital, reaching new readers and building a stronger business.
The story of Khabar Lahariya, an all women-run rural news organization based in India.

How the Innovation Challenge works

The Asia Pacific GNI Innovation Challenge is open to news organizations of all sizes that aim to produce original journalism and whose projects focus on innovation to create a more sustainable and diverse news sector. Projects will be evaluated against several criteria, including: impact on the news community, innovation, feasibility and a willingness to share knowledge. Applicants should be based in the Asia Pacific region and have their principal place of business there. For more information on eligible projects, criteria and funding, see our website.

How to apply

Applications are open until August 23 at 11:59 PM SGT and can be submitted via our website in English, Bengali, Chinese (traditional), Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean or Thai. We’ll be hosting a virtual town hall on Wednesday, July 13 at 2:00 PM SGT to answer applicants’ questions.

The GNI Innovation Challenges have been driving innovation in news since 2018 and have funded over 200 projects in 47 countries globally. We want to help empower news organizations across the APAC region to pioneer new thinking to support quality journalism. We look forward to receiving your application!

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