Facebook and Google launch emergency relief fund for local news publishers.


Google has launched a journalism emergency relief fund to support thousands of small, medium and local news publishers globally amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Through its Google News Initiative (GNI), the fund will be made available to news organisations producing original news for local communities during the COVID-19 crisis period.

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.

He added that interested organisations can apply for it here.

“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 said 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.

FJP and EJC announce the European journalism COVID-19 support fund

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) and the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) have also launched a $3 million fund to support hundreds of community, local and regional European news organisations continue to cover the coronavirus health crisis.

According to a statement on Wednesday, EJC said applications for the fund will open on April 16, adding that it involves three categories namely: engagement, emergency and innovative funds respectively.

“As people turn to local news for critical information on how to keep their friends, families and communities safe, we understand these journalists are hit especially hard in the current economic crisis,” the statement added.

“EJC will direct emergency funds via the $3 million that Facebook is investing to small and mid-sized news organisations and journalists most in need in the hardest hit countries across Europe, in order to support their businesses and reporting when we need them most.”


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