Google launches ‘journalism relief fund,’ following Facebook
Washington: Google said Wednesday it will launch an emergency fund to help local news outlets struggling to maintain operations in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
The internet giant gave no specific figure for its fund, but said it would offer grants ranging from the “low thousands of dollars” for the smallest operations to “low tens of thousands for larger newsrooms.”
The move comes with the media sector facing deep cutbacks resulting from the global consumer lockdown, an intense economic slump and a retrenchment in advertising revenues that many news outlets depend on.
“Local news is a vital resource for keeping people and communities connected in the best of times,” Google News vice president Richard Gingras said in a statement.
“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.”
Gingras said the fund will open to outlets “producing original news for local communities during this time of crisis,” with applications due by April 29. - AFP