This post was originally published on Defender Network

Defender publisher and CEO Sonceria “Sonny” Messiah Jiles is featured in the latest PR campaign promoting the Google News Initiative (GNI). The GNI is Google’s effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age.

Last year, the Defender Network was selected as a GNI participant. The project engaged in by the Defender Network focuses on increasing audience engagement and generating revenue by combining its unique relationship with the Black and Hispanic communities, enhancing rich content/coverage and aligning talented journalists.

“The transformation is built on virtual events, digital programs in a variety of formats, and targeted newsletters,” said Messiah Jiles. “The project includes: a Newspack -powered website creating a flexible, responsive content hub; tools to expand audience reach and deepen engagement with sponsors/advertisers; resources to encourage community engagement through audience participation; and a marketing campaign promoting digital transformation.”

Speaking on the solutions sought via the project, Messiah Jiles stated, “Confronting the declining print industry, the audience shift in information access to digital, the limitations of systemic racism and the challenges of COVID-19, this project opens the doors of opportunity to create a new business model that addresses all of these issues.

“Houston Defender Network will tackle these challenges by creating new digital products and services that transform the way it connects and engages with stakeholders (audience and advertisers).”

Below is the article where Messiah Jiles and other selected participants were featured: (