Google is launching the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund in an effort to help support local journalists and news outlets amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a blog post, Google News VP Richard Gingras said that “local news is a vital resource for keeping people and communities connected in the best of times. Today, it plays an even greater function in reporting on local lockdowns or shelter at home orders, school and park closures, and data about how COVID-19 is affecting daily life.”
After highlighting the challenges local news outlets are facing during the economic downturn, Gingras said the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund will focus on helping small, medium and hyper-local news publishers. The amount of the relief will range from low thousands to low tens of thousands, depending on the size of the newsroom.
“Starting today, publishers everywhere can apply for funds via a simple application form,” Gingras continued. “We’ve made this as streamlined as possible to ensure we get help to eligible publishers all over the world. Applications will close on Wednesday April 29, 2020 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’s announcement is good news for small newsrooms and will hopefully help publishers keep delivering news at time when it’s more important than ever.