Google has launched an emergency relief fund to help local newsrooms worldwide – including those in the UK.
The technology firm is offering financial support to “thousands of small, medium and local news publishers globally”.
Interested parties can apply for the funding via Google’s Digital News Initiative for the next two weeks.
The initiative is aimed at small and medium-sized news organizations producing original news for local communities during this time of crisis, and eligible applicants must have a digital presence and have been in operation for at least 12 months.
It is targeted at newsrooms employing between two and 100 full-time employee journalists, although local publishers employing more than 100 FTE journalists can still apply and will be considered subject to Google’s discretion.
Funds will be disbursed in one installment, in US dollars or Euros depending on region.
Funding amounts will range from the low thousands for hyperlocal newsrooms to low tens of thousands for larger newsrooms, with variations per region.
Google vice presdient of news Richard Gingras said: “Local news is a vital resource for keeping people and communities connected in the best of times.
“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.
“But that role is being challenged as the news industry deals with job cuts, furloughs and cutbacks as a result of the economic downturn prompted by COVID-19.”