The IAPA Digital Transformation Project Begins Funded by the Google News Initiative

In its first stage, it will include 40 media outlets, mainly from Central America and the Caribbean.

Miami (July 19, 2023) - A program to strengthen the digital operations of 80 Latin American media outlets, financed by Google News Initiative (GNI), has been launched by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA).

This week, The hemispheric organization began the call for proposals for the Enhanced Fundamentals Lab (EFL,) which, in its first stage, it will include 40 media outlets, mainly from Central America and the Caribbean. After several months of training and consulting, each participating media outlet can apply for a special GNI fund for a transformation project of up to US$20,000 for each media outlet.

"This support for innovation teaches us that the media and the large information distribution platforms can walk together towards sustainability and the preservation of journalistic products as equalizing elements of democracy," said the president of the IAPA, Michael Greenspon, , Global Head of Licensing & Print Innovation for The New York Times.

The head of the IAPA thanked Google for its commitment to the hemisphere's press and, in particular, to those countries that do not have access to compensation programs for using their news, such as Showcase. "This has been a constant argument of the IAPA in its conversations with Google and other platforms, and we are glad that we are seeing the fruits of this exchange," added Greenspon.

Rodrigo Bonilla, News Industry Relations Manager for Latin America at Google, said, "At Google, especially from the Google News Initiative, we deeply believe that by working in collaboration with media associations such as the IAPA, we can design and develop programs like this one that directly respond to the most pressing needs of the news media in the region and the world."

"The challenges facing the journalistic industry are increasingly complex, and we are sure that through projects like this, as well as through dialogue and collaboration, we will be able to cement a relationship of allies that allows the media to prosper in the digital age," Bonilla commented.

A second stage, aimed at South American media, will begin its six-month work, involving another 40 media, at the beginning of 2024.

The EFL consists of 3 stages: training and consulting, further training and mentoring, and digital transformation projects.

The training and advice will be carried out by the Marktube company with the support of Google specialists. Marktube, based in Mexico since 2016, has worked on projects with local and regional media in the United States, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Colombia.

The IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting press freedom and free expression in the Americas. It is comprised of more than 1,300 publications from the Western Hemisphere. The IAPA is based in Miami, United States.