Google launches global initiative to aid small and local newsrooms

The tech giant is also donating $1 million to the International Center for Journalists

Google is launching a ‘Journalism Emergency Relief Fund‘ to deliver aid to thousands of small and local newsrooms around the world.

The funding is open to news organizations producing original news for local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will range from the low thousands of dollars for small newsrooms, to tens of thousands for larger newsrooms.

The tech giant notes that journalism is currently “being challenged as the news industry deals with job cuts, furloughs and cutbacks as a result of the economic downturn prompted by COVID-19.”

Starting April 15th, newsrooms from around the world can apply for funds through an application form. Applications will close on April 29th. Google will then announce which newsrooms will receive funding and how it will be spent.

Further, Google is donating $1 million USD (about $1.4 million CAD) to the International Center for Journalists, which plans to provide resources to support reporters globally.

Google is not the only tech company to provide aid to the journalism community amid the pandemic, as Facebook recently invested $100 million USD (about $140 million CAD) to aid local newsrooms around the world.

A number of Canadian newsrooms received funding from Facebook, including the Fort France Times in Ontario and the Grizzly Gazette in Alberta. It will be interesting to see which Canadian publications receive funding from Google.

Source: Google