GhanaWeb, has won the first Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge for its novel ‘GhanaWeb Reporter’ project which will inject new ideas into the global news ecosystem.
The ‘GhanaWeb Reporter’ is an app for both Android and iOS devices that enables GhanaWeb’s monthly unique visitors to (re)publish their user-generated content (UGC) directly on the company’s news portal.
The content will be screened and published on a personal or topic page on the website or as a news or opinion article when it meets the required editorial guidelines. This novelty will amplify the voices of Ghanaians on the issues that matter to them.
Announced in February 2020 by Google, the GhanaWeb Reporter is among 21 projects from 13 countries in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region to receive $1.93 million in funding.
Eight of the projects are from African countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Morocco.
The Middle East, Turkey and Africa Innovation Challenge was launched in June 2019 and it received 527 applications from 35 countries. The 21 projects were selected after a rigorous review, a round of interviews and a final jury selection process.
The four criteria for selection included: impact, feasibility, innovation and inspiration, and the successful projects clearly demonstrated all four, Google announced in a blog post.
The GNI Innovation Challenges are part of Google’s $300 million commitment to help journalism thrive in the digital age and to see news innovators step forward with new thinking.
In all, there were 108 recipients of the GNI Innovation Challenges in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, Turkey & Africa and North America representing 39 countries around the regions.
“This funding will enable our partners to develop sustainable business models by diversifying revenue streams and/or increasing audience engagement,” Google added.
GhanaWeb is the first vertical portal in Ghana and the first news website for the country relaunched in 1999 to offer news, background information, classifieds, radio stations and a social network for Ghanaians and the Diaspora among others.
The privately-owned independent and objective portal operates under the laws of the Netherlands, a legal setup that has allowed Ghanaians to express themselves freely through opinion articles and comments in over two decades.