Home / Industry / Media /  Google announces relief fund for local newsrooms worldwide

NEW DELHI: Google on Wednesday announced a new Journalism Emergency Relief Fund, which will be used to provide aid to small and medium-sized news publishers worldwide, including India. The company, though, didn’t mention how much money it would offer through the fund.

“The funding is open to news organizations producing original news for local communities during this time of crisis, and 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," wrote Richard Gringas, vice president, News, at Google, in a blog post.

Applications for the fund will close on April 29 and the company will announce publishers who would receive the funding after that. The company is also contributing $1 million to the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) through its charitable arm,

Only newsrooms that have been operational for at least 12 months are eligible for the fund. The fund is “targeted at" newsrooms that employ between two and 100 full-time employee (FTE) journalists. “Local publishers employing more than 100 FTE journalists can still apply and will be considered subject to Google’s discretion, based mainly on differing needs in different countries/regions," the company said in its eligibility criteria. Lifestyle, sports and B2B publications will not be considered, and Google wants only publications with a “core news provision".

The covid-19 lockdowns have driven the consumption of news, but also slowed revenues for publishers. As a result, many news outlets have had to downsize drastically on staff. According to reports, over a thousand journalists from print, television and digital media, even in India, have been given pink slips due to the slowdown. In the past week, many smaller media organisations in India have stopped publishing or telecasts as revenues have run dry.

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