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Selected Projects

In November 2018, we announced the steps we’re taking as part of the Google News Initiative to fund projects that inject new ideas into the news industry. We are excited to share the 227 recipients of our first GNI Innovation Challenges in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, Turkey & Africa and North America representing 47 countries around the regions. This funding will enable our partners to develop sustainable business models by diversifying revenue streams and/or increasing audience engagement. You can read more about selected projects below.

See the winners from each region

Asia Pacific



Summary: The Conversation will develop new community standards and tools to verify the bona fides of commenters. This will make conversations on its platform safer, more inclusive and constructive.

Solution: Aggressive, off-topic or misleading comments can undermine trusted information in our articles. While most commenters abide by our community standards, certain topics are prone to spin, misinformation and sexist abuse. The Conversation will build a safer and more inclusive place for users to make comments. We will develop new community standards and guidelines to create harassment-free experience for expert authors, readers and editors. We will introduce new tools to let users create richer profiles and provide for pre-moderation. We will invest in active community management, and new processes to foster intelligent, constructive and respectful discussions.

Summary: Many newspapers and publishers were founded on classifieds and trading posts.

Using HCD and design thinking principles we crafted a prototype of how classifieds may look in today's age. We recognised there is a great opportunity under the Buy/Sell/Swap segment by looking deeply at our customers habits and needs as well as our advantages internally.

Solution: Australian Community Media want to create a new digital platform for buyers and sellers across Australia to exchange goods and services through our existing Audience network including print newspapers, sites, apps, email, advertising and social channels.

Connecting with local businesses and creating physical spaces to engage will help members of the community identify with our brand especially in the regional areas of Australia where we sit.


Summary: Crikey Group Access is a new approach to handling group subscriptions. The project aims to build a new group subscription offering that can be tailored to organisations, businesses and groups of all sizes. Our business model is already geared towards reader revenue, with over 90% of our total revenue coming from individual subscribers. We’re now ready to expand and diversify our pool of reader revenue by developing an innovative, user-friendly group subscription offering.

Solution: As advertising revenue becomes less accessible to small media publishers, journalism like Crikey’s increasingly depends on reader revenue to achieve sustainability. As the longest running reader revenue model in Australian independent journalism, Crikey understands what works in a reader-focused business model. We have identified a demand for a Crikey group subscription product, yet have not yet been able to deliver a product that meets this demand. Crikey Group Access will allow us to do this and will help to diversify and grow our revenue pool without taking our business model in a direction that is contrary to our current efforts.

Summary: This project will pilot an innovative fundraising platform for Australia’s community broadcasting sector, underpinned by a technology-based solution to support community journalism.

Donations are a key growth area for income generation in community broadcasting and this project will develop the CBAA’s Web Services to include leading fundraising technology for the sector. This will be integrated with the enhanced National Radio News (NRN) service, which will expand the quality and scope of community radio’s on-air and digital news content and drive traffic to station websites.

As a result, NRN will be placed at the forefront of philanthropically funded journalism in Australia.

Solution: Despite 22% of sector income being raised through fundraising, most community radio station websites do not include an online fundraising system (60%).

The CBAA’s Enhanced National News Programming Initiative is set to build capacity in stations to provide listeners with independent news through National Radio News (NRN) and an online news hub.

Through this project, the CBAA will deliver an enhanced digital news strategy for NRN through its Web Services, enabling stations to share regular news updates online as well as on-air, and driving traffic back to station websites equipped with an innovative donation platform.

Summary: The Women's Agenda Extra platform offers our loyal readers a little 'extra', through a simple membership platform. It features three core components including: regular deep dives on key news events that intentionally feature female sources; opportunities for members to discuss stories and issues together and directly with journalists and editors; an innovative database of female expert sources built over time through those quoted in our news features. The platform is not designed to gate or paywall our regular editorial.

Solution: The first is the need to offer broader opportunities for a female perspective on major news events, which we can support and provide through membership revenue -- with at least three female sources quoted per piece. The second being the need to raise the number of female contributors and sources in the mainstream media, which this project will build over time through our database of female sources -- developed from those quoted in our regular news features. And, finally, to address the expressed desires and needs of our readers to better connect and share knowledge regarding the key issues we cover on Women's Agenda.

Summary: Guardian Australia will develop, prototype and user test a technology solution that will allow the timed release of rich media, during audio playback on mobile. These events will enhance the user experience and make it easier for listeners to make financial contributions to publishers via audio content.

Solution: As the business model of journalism pivots towards having a larger portion of reader revenue, we are seeking to unlock the potential to activate this revenue stream in audio content. Guardian Australia’s pilot technology solution will make it easier for podcasts listeners to make financial contributions to publishers and audio creators.

Summary: Mamamia is in the process of developing an innovative membership proposition that caters for different audiences’ content preferences.

Solution: Mamamia is looking to build on the high engagement of our audience with our content and talent to diversify both revenue and traffic sources for the organization.

We acknowledge the limitation to how many platform memberships users are prepared to commit to, and are accordingly offering a unique, flexible and transparent membership model.

Hong Kong


Summary: SCMP Atlas is a system that dynamically classifies users into persona clusters based on their demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data.

These personas can then be fed into prediction models and recommendation engines to better personalize user journeys, increase engagement and retention, and optimize monetization opportunities.

Solution: Atlas auto-generates user personas and journeys as inputs to optimize editorial curation, user-centered design, and algorithms to maximize user engagement & retention, and monetization.

Whenever a user interacts our product or content, we only employ a small degree of “personalization” in terms of content, format / packaging, and next call-to-actions (CTA); and even so, these are extremely limited, manually-defined, and not user-specific.

Atlas allows us to personalize our users' experiences based on their behaviors and motivations, and show them relevant product and content -- whether this be a subscription offer, a newsletter, a conversation, a ticket to an event, content in a specific format, etc.

Summary: We aim to provide an open-source solution to build a decentralized independent journalist network in the Chinese community. The solution will be an integrated toolkit for independent journalists to write and publish articles with permanent preservation and content authorship, distribute work bypassing platform censorship, build communities and get paid via nano payment. The solution aims to empower independent journalism at lower logistic costs, with higher audience engagement.

Solution: Journalism faces two fundamental challenges today: broken business models and platform censorship. We believe the future roots in a decentralized solution for an independent journalist network. The distributed ledger allows us to build a solution that can provide durable hosting, independent governance and payment solution for Internet content. The deliverable product will be an integrated toolkit including plug-ins powered by IPFS, Matters content management system and Liker Land social network. Journalists can use this toolkit to publish stories on or freely distributed to any other platforms and receive rewards from their readers.


Summary: We are creating an open source funding platform for small newsrooms focussed on reader membership. This out-of-the-box micro-site can be easily deployed to bypass, or reduce reliance on, expensive, third-party crowdfunding sites, and flawed fundraising plugins. Regular, monthly support from readers has proven to be the best hope for generating a sustainable income, but accessible, functional and affordable tools and expertise are rarely available to small news startups and outfits. Designed specifically for media outlets, this solution will empower newsrooms to finally take control of their fundraising and manage their relationships with supporters.

Solution: There are no viable free, secure, open source membership or fundraising portals available to small newsrooms. With media funding in crisis, direct reader support remains the most feasible solution and the best way to ensure press freedom. Our Open Membership Portal for Small Newsrooms will be fully maintained, with a training pack, documentation and case studies. Supporters will be able to select different commitment levels and manage their donations through card payments or PayPal. Customisable and secure, it aims to remove barriers for both newsrooms and readers to accepting regular donations.



Summary: Platform for crowdsourcing funding and journalism for covering causes that matter. It is often said that media reporting is not covering issues that matter. We believe the economics of the media model is responsible for this. Our platform will assist in the identification, funding and coverage of causes, both local and global, that impact people, environment, lives and lively hoods, by creating communities, crowdfunding from those being impacted and those who care and finding the best of the journalism minds to cover them.

Summary: Gaon Connection will create India's first national rural insight platform: an app that will regularly showcase national surveys carried out by community journalists across the country, which would be also turned into video, audio and text content. This opinion mechanism would become the never-before voice of India's voiceless majority. The app will enable accurate surveys every week, ensure citizens' engagement as respondents and community journalists, and have them suggest/decide the issues on which opinion should be sought and amplified. The findings of the surveys would be embellished with powerful ground reporting on the same issues by the Gaon Connection editorial team across, video, audio and text formats on our digital platforms.

Solution: Two of three Indians live in rural India, but rural India is not the priority of the mainstream media. So India's policymakers and citizens in general have no credible way of knowing what rural India wants, and what it doesn't. In the world's biggest democracy, there is no way of regularly knowing the will of two-thirds of its citizens -- critical for policymaking.Gaon Connection app will use the power of tech to showcase the will and aspirations of rural India in a never-before manner.The project is unique because it brings together technology and ground presence, statistics and field reportage, to create a heady mix -- that shall change the news narrative, nudge policymakers and provide new insight to urban India on the real issues.

Summary: Growing both our audience size and audience engagement, by giving audiences the ability to customize their reading experience and access specific stories they want via tokenisation.

Solution: We're trying to solve for subscription: new subs, as well as renewals and prevention of subscription fatigue. By converting subscription fees into tokens, so different segments of subscribers can read/engage only with the stories they're interested in. This would lead to a more engaged and vibrant subscriber base, which means more renewal revenue.

Summary: TNM Connect is a membership programme that will cater to the NRI – the Indian expat – living in the US, UAE, or UK. TNM Connect will enable NRIs to stay in touch with their cultural roots, and allow a community of like-minded individuals spanning geographical locations to come together. Through targeted content, newsletters and discussion forums, TNM Connect will empower members to engage meaningfully with issues back home, whether political or social, celebratory or tragic, allowing them to provide help in times of need or distress.

Problem: How to build a sustainable independent media business with good journalism at its core?

Solution: A membership programme that respects readers, and where they come from, what they want. TNM Connect will continue with The News Minute’s niche of covering south India, from the south, and identifying that the reader is not a monolith. There are 16 million Indians living abroad, and we recognise that all of them are not the same, nor do they want the same things. We will drive diversity of coverage and diversity of ideas, through diversity in the newsroom. And with this, we believe that it is possible to build a sustainable business model.


Summary: Aapki Khabar, Aapki Bhasha' - seeks to create a viable, replicable monetisation model for local, rural journalism across the world, by creating digital news products for a local language audience.

Solution: Rural issues are not represented in the mainstream media, and local vernacular models are hard pressed to sustain themselves. The project seeks to create a local media subscription model which can be replicated across the world, and which will enable the sustainability of local media platforms. The product will aim to bridge local/rural and urban audiences, through reporting, analysis, commentary in multiple formats. It will expand the scope of revenue generation for grassroots media by making the content relevant to educational and research institutes, national and international media platforms, think tanks and governments.

The editorial innovation is the local woman reporter who will be key in producing the product for her audience.

Summary: Turkbox allows news websites to embed widgets on which readers complete CAPTCHA-like data classification and annotation tasks to gain access to articles. This gives readers a novel pay-as-you-go system where readers “pay” news publications by completing elementary data classification tasks. Turkbox pays news publications for each classification task performed while the widget is hosted on their website. Turkbox will work with publications that do not have a strong enough readership to sustain a subscription-based model. Instead of direct payment, readers will classify data.

Solution: With the advent of the subscription-led business model in the online news landscape for publications in India, there are doubts about whether readers will be willing to pay to access their news. A subscription system can have a considerable impact on user retention for online websites, and alienate users that don’t wish to buy a subscription. Turkbox provides a consistent solution for the reader to “pay” the news publication by performing an elementary data classification task in exchange for access to news. This enables news publication to monetize content while also keeping access to content free.


Summary: With its vast media network —has 36 exclusive media partners in 34 provinces through 1001 media programmes-- it's been proven so far, kumparan has become a nerve system for information collection and dissemination. Giving local media the opportunity to voice and disseminate local information and local concern to the fore of national consciousness.

This has helped the general public to understand, empathize, and sympathize with the many problems and struggles faced by their compatriots. kumparan encourages general public to help by way of donation whenever it is possible.

And kumparanDerma — incorp. with— is the facilitation for kumparan readers to make disaster relief and social movement donations via kumparan’s platform.

Solution: Media is a powerful tool to disseminate information on disaster and social movement. Yet when people are interested in making donations for the disaster relief or helping the movement they have to experience a painful procedure to do it: finding organizations that organize all of those, unfriendly banking procedure, and monitor the result.

What we are trying to do is to ease, shorten, and make the process as comfortable and seamless as possible.

kumparan readers can read and make donations in one go without having to exit kumparan’s platform. The system supported by some of the biggest banks in Indonesia and also mobile payment (GoPay) makes transferring donations super easy. The results can be monitored in a real time monitoring page.


Summary: Artificial intelligence (AI) driven platform for readers to interact, engage and collaborate with Tempo’s newsroom.

Solution: There is a mismatch between Tempo’s in-depth, quality, and investigative content with what Indonesian younger, digital savvy audience want from a media. We need to build a bridge to connect them.

GoTempo is the solution because it is a platform where audience can better engage Tempo’s content and it’s newsroom, by forming communities around individual Tempo’s journalists or issues.



Summary: The residents in Iwate prefecture is aging so fast. We construct some services that helps residents, especially older people by using this application software and our physical network spread around Iwate prefecture.

This application software which is equipped with health care, voice information and coupon services is available for subscribers of Iwate Nippo newspaper. This offers them just only useful function but creates to the customers with comfortable and safety life.

Solution: We have some severe problems in Iwate prefecture. First, it is an aging society. The older people are lonely and cut off from society. They are also exposed to the risk of fraud and disaster those are increasing year by year. Secondly it is a shrinking economy including newspaper industry at local area. We are not only raising some problems on newspaper but also provide solid solutions against that problems by using this application software.

Summary: Our team will focus on tipping and donations as new means of reader revenue separate from those gained through ordinary advertising and subscription. Readers who sympathize with the story or the article they read and wish to commit themselves will be enabled to easily tip or donate to the interviewed community or the journalism they support by using a tool and platform developed by our team. Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency will enable us to lower the cost of such monetary transactions.

Solution: The challenge is reader loyalty. When reading an exceptional article, the reader may be impressed enough to consider making a contribution to the interviewed community. Our team plans to develop a simple tipping and donation tool as a means of expressing such feelings, while at the same time creating new reader revenue that would have been untapped by a fixed subscription fee system. Since tipping and donation income is deemed to be closely related to reader loyalty, it is likely to lead to the improvement of churn rate and a shift to more premium subscription services.



Summary: The key focus of the outcome is to build a targeted gamers community that drives content consumption. The gamers community will be built to consume and produce content. Cooperatively with quality breaking news, investigative reporting, tournament coverage, and analysis of every important event within the esports world on the platform. The platform is complemented with a geolocation based recommendation engine accompanied by personalised user experience that increases the consumption of the content from the community of gamers.

Solution: The gaming community is huge but insular in Malaysia as the interaction among the online communities is very little and does not get much attention from the local mainstream media. Hence, the solution is to build a geolocation based content recommendation engine around the community to increase the consumption of the content from the community of gamers. The recommendation engine will also grant us the opportunity to study the audience and their interest which is based on different demographics and users’ browsing behaviours. Consequently, increase the potential for successful engagement of the audience with the portal.


Summary: “Kini Community” will introduce a subscription model incorporating community rewards and recognition for Malaysiakini readers. The deliverable is a points-based reward and loyalty programme, and an e-wallet system that incentivises readers to engage productively with Malaysiakini and its community.

Points will be given to subscribers and readers who engage constructively with Malaysiakini, such as by providing letters or news tips. Points can also be purchased and awarded by one reader to another for actions such as praiseworthy comments. These can be redeemed for perks such as subscription discounts, attending Malaysiakini events, and voting on what stories Malaysiakini should do.

Solution: Following 2018’s election of a new government, Malaysia’s media environment has opened up. Malaysiakini thus needs to find fresh ways to set itself apart.

Through “Kini Community”, Malaysiakini aims to create a new source of reader revenue which encourages customer loyalty and engagement, and offers more value to subscribers.

This project will explore whether strengthening a news site’s community aspects leads to higher subscription and retention rates, and whether a points system can incentivise engagement.

It will also investigate which user actions highly correlate with trust, loyalty and subscription; and whether a points system adds value to a paywalled site.

South Korea


Summary: The goal of this project is to build a smarter system to have access to user insights and furthermore an artificial intelligence based recommender system.

A user-oriented contents recommendation system through personalization of the news feed and predictive analytics to optimize news curation will help to increase user engagement.

Solution: Korean news papers have failed to convert website visitors into subscribers and ultimately turn those subscribers into paying customers. That’s because their news websites are not personalized.

The Busan Daily is going to evolve into the powerful online news provider capable of reconnecting readers in the digital age.

To do that, web log analysis solution must be introduced. Real time analysis of the news content should be developed. And then a content-based recommender system should be implemented.

The Busan Daily news website will increase user engagement through recommending articles to users, sending automated push notifications and newsletters.

Summary: Media records every history. However, that is not for the individual. So we will make ‘the newspaper for one’s own’ for normal people, not special, those who want to make his or her autobiography. We have 100 year’s article photo archive and this is the longest and largest scale in Korea. Using this archive, users can search and find the articles that are published at the time they experienced. Also, they can add his/her own story. The Dong-A Ilbo will offer the one and only ‘autobiography newspaper’ to the users via PDF file format.


Summary: This is a reward system that allows paid subscribers of our site to share premium articles with non-subscribers via social media and rewards the first sharer depending on the number of views the article generates. It is an attempt to take the reward-based advertising model commonly seen in mobile games and applying it for the first time to the news industry.

Solution: Korean publishers are faced with three main challenges: falling readership and revenue, a news industry dominated by portal giants, and the spread of fake news. Our reward system seeks to address these problems by actively pulling in readers with an innovative distribution model that asserts “you can make money from sharing good news.” This would drive traffic of individual news sites and help them break free from media distribution that is dependent on major portals. It would also incentivize readers to share quality journalism, gradually rooting out fake news.

Summary: Dotted is the crowdfunding-membership integration model for quality video journalism. Membership model and crowdfunding had apparent pros and cons. and we found that combining two models can more than the sum of parts. It offset their downside and improves reader relationship management. It will help scale and stabilize the monetization process.

Solution: Current revenue system of online video platforms, which is based on the number of views and ads, rewarding provocative materials over quality contents. Diversifying monetization strategy is important for quality video journalism that requires more time and money to produce. Existing revenue models have the trade-off between stable income, scalability, content spreadability. We decided to combine them instead of choosing one.Acquire user by crowdfunding project and convince the participant to join a membership program through personally optimized promotion to achieve to stable and scalable both.



Summary: Frontier Myanmar delivers original reporting from all corners of Myanmar, making space for a range of voices, and setting high editorial standards. Our mission is to inform and connect people who care about a more liberal, tolerant future for Myanmar. We will do this through journalism, advocacy, community, and research built around membership components. This will help to safeguard our editorial independence, enabling us to provide a community of diplomats, NGOs, academics, journalists, and businesses with vital insights into the complex socio-political changes shaping Myanmar.

Solution: The political climate in Myanmar has deteriorated, affecting the ability of media to cover topics central to the democratic transition, while limiting the voices of marginalised communities. At the same time, the media industry is going through significant economic upheaval, making it harder for outlets to maintain editorial independence amid external pressure. Our solution is to diversify Frontier from an ad-driven model by adding membership components. By putting our audience first through an approach based on solving problems specific to them, and building engagement through proprietary sites and applications, we want to keep our core reporting accessible and free.



Summary: ZGM Workflow Optimization Project is aimed at optimizing the newsroom workflow as well as making it easier for our team to manage our online presence and subscription services.

The integrated system will allow us to personalize our subscription services based on the reading habits of the readers, and allowing us to offer readers with tailored services with dynamic pricing. Its main objective is to help us convert readers to valuable subscribers, attract more new subscribers while at the same time keeping old ones better engaged.

The system will be an integrated content creation management and customer management system.

Solution: The project aims to solve current problems faced by the print industry, especially in Mongolia using technological advancements while creating new sources of revenue.

Currently, the business industry in Mongolia relies on revenue from print subscription and ad sales. The obsolete business model has left publishers in constant financial deficit proving that publishers need to better utilize advancements in digital technology. By making our newsroom workflow easier and more flexible, ZGM will firstly retain its human resources, and by being able to analyze and tailor our readers' reading habits we will be able to attract more readers while keeping old ones engaged.



Summary: The Record Membership Project is to grow Nepal's first member-supported publication. With an inclusive team, the project aims to produce quality journalism online and use digital innovations. Our vision is to publish the most trusted journalism on Nepal’s politics, society, and culture while staying true to our values of editorial independence, accountability to our readers, and innovation.

Solution: The main challenge we are trying to address is to find a sustainable business model suitable to produce high quality journalism online.

New Zealand


Summary: PressPatron is a media monetization platform that turns readers into paying supporters, by streamlining the payment process for memberships and donations. Our GNI project will add new features to our platform, making it easier for traditional publishers to sell print and digital subscriptions under a membership model. This will generate extra revenue, by letting readers make an additional contribution towards a publication’s in-depth analysis and investigative reporting. Under this business model, a reader would be invited to contribute any amount that matches their budget. The reader would then receive different subscription benefits based on their level of giving.

Solution: After more than a decade of revenue losses and job cuts, the media community needs sustainable business models to fund the production of quality journalism. PressPatron helps media organizations identify the best business model for their journalism, while also providing technology that makes it easy to run a successful funding campaign and adopt best practices. We’re excited about the new functionality we’ll be adding to our platform, with the support of GNI. Our project will allow media organizations to gain easy access to a comprehensive range of features that will further streamline the process of running a successful membership campaign.



Summary: The Current is Pakistan's fastest growing independent digital news platform. The appeal is simplified content, exclusive videos and constant engagement. Its followers are made up of millenials who want information on their terms and The Current follows through by providing credible journalism in an easy to understand way. The Current's membership model will be the first of its kind in Pakistan - with three levels of membership provided for its most avid follower. The plan is to provide content and training that members want and also test a viable alternate stream of revenue for digital news startups.

Solution: It isn’t just about an alternate form of revenue. Yes, it is imperative that organizations find a way to grow and sustain costs but there’s also this intense desire of followers wanting to be a part of the process. The challenge is to provide these followers, the ones that take the time to comment, share, message, email, call, or even come to the office, a way to be a part of the organization. The Current wants to give that follower a chance to step inside the newsroom, ask questions about how credible journalism is practiced and to be able to get training and learn at the same time. The way to do it is through a membership model, giving that user options that they want and also giving them a way to support their favourite news source.


Summary: This project exhaustively chronicles over 5 million news stories printed in Pakistan’s oldest Urdu newspaper in a span of 70 years, organized in multiple taxonomies like people, organization, products, brands, locations, events, issues & incidents. Auto summaries for each taxonomy topic will be processed using an AI-based algorithmic system. End result will be published in the form of an exclusive membership based platform as well as a set of 7 AR-assisted interactive books where each of the reference material will just be a QR code away.

Solution: There is no easy way to find authentic historical information from news archives as it is available only in a couple of libraries in paper-form that requires people to travel all the way to that library in a country that is spread almost around a million square kilometers with not very supportive transport infrastructure. Being the oldest Urdu newspaper we plan to provide access to this wealth of authentic information through digitization of newspapers while organizing it in various taxonomies and making them available through a news archive platform as well as a set of 7 AR-assisted interactive books.



Summary: Tech in Asia plans to deliver a fresh user experience through a Digital Membership Platform. The platform will have two key components: a Reader and an Editorial Dashboard. The Reader Dashboard will let readers track their own content consumption, view recommended articles and events based on their site activity, and connect to other members of TIA’s online community. The same members’ reading data will be aggregated and visualised in an internal editorial dashboard. allows our editorial team to better understand reader behavior and interests, identify trends and hot spots, and use this data for continuous content improvement.

Solution: As newsrooms have increasingly moved online, the technology to support seamless user experience and editorial insights have lagged behind. In particular, newsrooms often lack nuanced information about its readers’ behaviors that could help drive editorial decisions. Tech in Asia’s Digital Membership Platform aims to solve this information gap by providing a continuous feedback loop between the readers and the newsroom. As our editorial team produces more relevant, higher-quality content for our audience, we hope to see increased engagement with our readers and broader TIA community.


Summary: is widely recognised as an objective and credible Chinese digital news site in Singapore and among global Chinese communities. It currently runs on a freemium model and has 2 types of readers: subscribers and guests.

By introducing a membership model, non-subscriber guest readers will gain access to premium content by performing specific gamified and non-monetary based micro-transactions to accrue points.

This project aims to build reader loyalty and engagement with, and convert the unknown non-subscriber users into known loyal readers who may become subscribers.

Solution: Out of our 2.3 million monthly users, we don’t know the reading behaviour of 95% of them. In addition surveyed non-subscribers see no need to pay for news. However, they accept delayed gratification for free content.

By introducing a membership model, coupled with a micro-transaction formula, users will be able to perform specific gamified actions to accrue points for premium content access and even gifts.

We hope to gain a better understanding of our users and their behaviour, which will translate into more effective membership/subscription marketing, subsequently driving reader revenue.

Sri Lanka


Summary: Roar Media has been working on a contributor platform to allow users to submit their own content (UGC) in local South Asian languages -

We accept multi-media content that tells a great story, that’s informative, and factually accurate. All submissions run through our own editorial processes and are checked for accuracy and quality by our panel of expert editors.

We’ve opened up for submissions in 4 local languages - Bengali, Sinhalese, Tamil and English. In the 8 months that we’ve launched the contributor platform, we’ve seen strong traction with over 100 monthly submissions and a published rate of 60%.

Solution: The South Asian internet population is at an all time high, with a majority who are only comfortable in consuming content in their own native languages. In terms of content creators in South Asian markets; on one end of the spectrum, there exists a number of biased media organisations controlling the narrative and focused on gossip whereas on the other end of the spectrum, there is the issue of “Fake news” masquerading as citizen journalism spreading through a multitude of social media platforms.

We want to tackle the problem with a hybrid model of citizen journalism that is fact checked and curated by an expert panel of editors, paving the way for authentic citizen journalism that is of high quality.



Summary: This project is to establish a brand-new way to encourage readers to participate in constructive online discussion. It combines gamification, socialization and editorial participation to create a more engaged and rational discussion mechanism.

Solution: We are trying to solve the problem that the online discussion is either trolls or non-meaningful fights. We would like to re-establish a meaningful social networking experience. One that is fun, rational, and filled with interaction with the content team. We will use gamification design, rating and referral system to encourage rational discussions and discourage purely emotional outbursts.

Summary: CommonWealth Education Media & Publishing Co., is a publisher of books, magazines, and online content for educators, parents, and children. We are exploring new ways of providing educational news content to families with young children. Could voice technology offer our target audience some fun and education while giving them a break from screens?

By creating interactive, voice-based experiences for children and their families, we hope to:

  • spark young individuals’ interests in current affairs
  • help them develop critical thinking skills
  • engage families in a way that breaks them out of the confines of the screen.

Solution: Challenge: Can we use voice technology and conversational AI tools to engage families with children?

Solution: With GNI funding, our team will design, develop, and experiment with Google Assistant’s conversational actions and produce a series of interactive audio content for our target audience. News content in the program will be produced in conjunction with local educators to ensure that the materials presented are relevant and thought-provoking for both young and old. We hope to share our voice technology implementation results and findings with media partners so more providers can join us in offering voice-driven news content.


Summary: For better reader journey before becoming a loyal reader or a paid subscriber, this project aims to develop a recommendation system to provide personalized content experience using machine learning algorithms.

Solution: The goal of this project is to increase reader engagement as well as subscription conversion. The project will focus on implementing personalization system and related algorithms to efficiently recommend the right content to the right user.