The Voice of Guanacaste wins innovation grant from Google News Initiative

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The Voice of Guanacaste was selected as one of 21 winning projects in Latin America for the Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge, a regional competition to support the creation of new business models, news products and technological tools that allow them to overcome the different structural challenges of the news industry.

We entered the competition with a renewed proposal for GuanaData, our initiative for monitoring corruption and budget execution in the municipalities, as well as citizen training and participation in Guanacaste. For more than four years, we’ve implemented this project to investigate how the municipalities in our province use money and implement their promises, and to work directly with communities to provide them with political control tools, such as access to public information and citizen journalism.

The selection process for the 2021 Latin America GNI Innovation Challenge kicked off this year in March and more than 300 organizations from across the region participated. After several rounds of evaluation by a multidisciplinary jury of expert voices in media and technology, they finally chose 21 projects from nine countries, mainly from South America. The Voice of Guanacaste is the first local media outlet in Central America to win this grant.

The Voice of Guanacaste is in a process of constant innovation to fill information deserts with high-quality local journalism. We also work every day to improve the content experience for all the people who follow us. However, this type of rigorous, original and independent journalism is also quite complex and costly. That’s why we proposed combining the best of our editorial work with machine learning to strengthen our investigative journalism, monitor more municipalities on a regular basis and further develop our membership program.

Thanks to funding from the Google News Initiative (GNI), we’ll create tools that will allow us to bring you more local and relevant information, with the quality and rigor that characterizes our work. We’ll also lead a cross-border collaborative innovation sprint, in which we’ll work with other Latin American media to develop guides and case studies that will help other independent media to manage innovation processes in a more agile and efficient way.

We want you to be part of this process

In the coming weeks, we’ll publish more details on the progress of this new project. We’d like to invite all the communities that follow us to contribute their suggestions, ideas and information needs starting now. We’re open to hearing your proposals through our social networks and our email ([email protected]).

We view journalism as a service profession, and our mission is to work in an ethical, responsible and diligent way so that each person in Guanacaste has timely access to useful, relevant and quality information. Thank you for supporting us in this new phase.