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Google, Facebook announce emergency COVID-19 relief fund for local news publishers





Tech giant Google, through its Google News Initiative (GNI), has launched a global journalism emergency relief fund to support thousands of small, medium and local news publishers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Google headquarters
Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, United States

The fund will be made available to news organisations producing original news for local communities during the COVID-19 crisis period, Ogbonge News reports.

The search giant explained that the fund 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.

According to a statement issued by Richard Gingras, Google’s VP, news, applications for the fund started on April 14, and would close by April 29.

“We’ve made this as streamlined as possible to ensure we get help to eligible publishers all over the world. At the end of the process, we’ll announce who has received funding and how publishers are spending the money,” the statement read.

Google also announced that it is also giving $1 million collectively to the International Centre 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.

Gingras said this would further consolidate other efforts made by the search engine to support the media industry and connect people to quality information at this time of need.

“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,” he said.

Similarly, Facebook via the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) is injecting the sum of $3m through the European Journalism Center (EJC) to assist small and mid-sized news organizations and journalists that are most in need in the hardest hit countries across Europe, in order to support their businesses and ongoing COVID-19 reporting in local communities.


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