Google launches the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund to help local news firms

Today, the Google News Initiative launched the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund whereby thousands of small, medium and local news publishers will receive emergency aid to help cover the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Depending on the region, the monetary aid will range from a few thousands of dollars for small hyper-local newsrooms to low tens of thousands for larger newsrooms. To obtain funding, Google has outlined a few eligibility requirements. These include a necessary digital presence together with an operational record for at least 12 months and an employee count between 2 - 100 full-time journalists, among other conditions.

Publishers who fit the criteria can apply via an online application form starting today. The due date for submitting the form is Wednesday, April 29, 2020, at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. After this, Google will announce the names and details of the publishers who have secured the funding.

In addition, is also giving a lump sum of $1 million collectively to the International Center for Journalists and the Columbia Journalism School's Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. From these organizations, the former plans to provide immediate resources to support reporters globally while the latter is aimed at helping journalists exposed to traumatic events experienced during the pandemic.

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