Google, in partnership with the Gates Foundation, Knight Foundation, the Omidyar Network and others, is backing a news innovation contest focused on Africa and run by the Africa Media Initiative. Entries to the Africa News Innovation Challenge can come from anywhere and will be accepted in English, French, Portuguese or Arabic, but all entries must have a partner in Africa. Winners will receive grants of up to $100,000 from a total prize budget of $1 million. According to the website: “Of particular interest are proposals that improve data-based investigative journalism, audience engagement, mobile news distribution, data visualization, new revenue models and workflow systems.” The contest is a timely one–according to a recent study mobile Web browsing accounts for 10 percent of all browsing, with Africa leading the charge. Earlier this year, Google and AP awarded a first set of scholarships worth $20,000 as part of the annual AP-Google Technology Scholarship Program to 6 journalism students in the U.S.
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