We are eager to see journalism flourish in the digital age. Last week, we announced our support of the Global Editor Network’s data journalism prize. Today, we’re happy to see that the International Press Institute has begun accepting applications for the second round of Google-funded media innovation prizes.

Click here for more information and to enter. Applicants are eligible from anywhere in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The Vienna-based International Press Institute is our European partner for Google’s ambitious $5 million global program announced in 2010 to help journalism create new ways of reaching readers online. As media organizations globally continue to broaden their presence online, we’re eager to play our part on the technology side—experimenting with new ways of presenting news online; providing tools like Google Maps and YouTube Direct to make websites more engaging for readers. But while we’re mostly focused on working with news organizations to develop better products for users, we also believe it’s crucial to encourage innovation at the grassroots level. Our grants to non-profit organizations are designed to benefit news publishers of all sizes.

More than 300 applications were received for the first round of International Press Institute-run Google-sponsored prizes last year; three winners were named at the end of last year.

This year’s News Innovation Contest offers prizes in two categories:

  • News Platforms: The International Press Institute is looking for projects that leverage online tools to enhance news gathering and delivery. It aims to encourage the creation of new online news platforms that offer new revenue models for supporting high quality journalism.
  • Training: Little proper training in online media exists. The Press Institute is looking for initiatives that help traditional journalists transition into online media, by improving their technology skills and familiarising them with online news models.

The contest deadline is February 23 at 15:00 Central European Time. Winners can be announced at the beginning of April.