As local newsrooms bleed owing to lack of resources and poor ad spend in COVID-19 pandemic, Google on Wednesday announced a Journalism Emergency Relief Fund to deliver urgent aid to thousands of small, medium and local news publishers globally.
The funding is open to news organizations producing original news for local communities during this time of crisis, and will range from the low thousands of dollars for small hyper-local newsrooms to low tens of thousands for larger newsrooms, with variations per region, Richard Gingras, VP, News at Google, said in a statement.
"Local news is a vital resource for keeping people and communities connected in the best of times. But that role is being challenged as the news industry deals with job cuts, furloughs and cutbacks as a result of the economic downturn prompted by COVID-19," Gingras added.
Publishers everywhere can apply for funds via a simple application form.
"We've made this as streamlined as possible to ensure we get help to eligible publishers all over the world. Applications will close on April 29 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. At the end of the process, we'll announce who has received funding and how publishers are spending the money," Google announced.
Additionally, Google.org is giving $1 million collectively to the International Center for Journalists, which plans to provide immediate resources to support reporters globally, and the Columbia Journalism School's Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma which is helping journalists exposed to traumatic events experienced during the crisis.
"We believe it is important to do what we can to alleviate the financial pressures on newsrooms and will continue to look at other ways to help with more to announce soon," said Google.
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