Asia-Pacific GNI Innovation Challenge offers up to US$ 300,000 to selected projects

Google invites project proposals from publishers and journalists

Asia-Pacific GNI
Google Asia-Pacific GNI Innovation Challenge

Google has announced its Asia-Pacific GNI Innovation Challenge in India, under its News Initiative. The aim of the challenge is to get proposals from publishers and journalists that are aimed at increasing the revenue from readers. The selected projects will be funded by Google and the company will not only provide up to US$ 300,000 but also finance up to 70% of the total project cost.

In Asia-Pacific, journalists and publishers are increasingly grappling with questions over how quality journalism can thrive in the digital age. From Yangon to Manila, Sydney to New Delhi, they are experimenting with fresh approaches to reporting and new business models.

Google has been working hand in hand with publishers to understand those challenges, and over the past year has supported Asian newsrooms and publishers through the Google News Initiative (GNI).
Asia-Pacific GNI Innovation Challenge has been created to help build a stronger future for journalism in Asia-Pacific, which will fund projects that inject new ideas into the news industry.
Proposals for projects aimed at increasing revenue from readers are invited, including subscriptions, membership programs, contributions and new digital products and services. A panel of Googlers and other tech industry executives will review the submissions and fund selected projects up to US$ 300,000 and finance up to 70% of the total project cost.
The funding will be reviewed against several criteria, including a sharing component – for example by publishing any findings or holding a seminar – so grantees can pass their knowledge onto others in the industry.

Given the pace of change in the news industry, innovation has never been more important. The company is assuring that all organizations, large and small, in the Asia-Pacific news ecosystem have the opportunity to suggest new ideas around this critically important topic. Applications will open on 28 November 2018, and the deadline for submission is 9 January 2019.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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