New York, May 29th, 2020: 5,300 small and medium local newsrooms around the world have been selected by Google to receive emergency funding from $5,000-$30,000 (approximately Rs 3.7 lakh-Rs 22.7 lakh).
Covid-19 has upended the news industry, hitting local news particularly hard with job losses, furloughs, cutbacks, and even closure, Google said in a blog post.
To provide some help, the Google News Initiative last month launched the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund.
“Applications covering a number of publications under one organization will be capped at $85,000. As we await a final funding tally, we expect to spend tens of millions of dollars through the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund,” said, Ludovic Blecher, Head of Google News Initiative Innovation.
Google said in just two weeks it received more than 12,000 applications from 140 eligible countries, with 90 per cent of those applications from newsrooms of less than 26 journalists.
“We reviewed each application against a set of criteria, publications operating locally, serving a specific geographic community and using the money to continue doing so,” Blecher said.
About 50 percent of the applications didn’t meet the publicly established criteria. Reasons varied from not producing core news (i.e., lifestyle or sports news) to employing less than 2 journalists.