Google Provided $39.5 Million to News Publishers amid COVID 19 Crisis

Published: July 24, 2020

The search engine giant, Google, has so far distributed $39.5 million in funding to more than 5600 publishers from 115 countries that are facing financial hardship as a result of the economic and advertising slowdown in the COVID 19 pandemic.

From India, digital-only news organization East Mojo and Tamil Language publication Minnambalam are among the small and medium local newsrooms around the world that will receive this emergency funding from Google, ranging from $5000-$30000 (Rs 3.7 lakhs to Rs 22.7 lakhs, approximately).

This is part of the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund of the Google News Initiative, started in April. The money that is provided under this is applied in diverse and creative ways, from ensuring basic reporting needs and giving emergency stipends to allow reporters to cover the crisis, to driving audience engagements and generating subscriptions. Within two weeks of its launch, Google received more than 12000 applications.

The applicants have been screened based on their source of revenue and it has been found that 50% have been completely reliant on advertising for their revenue. However, it has also been found that around 20% of publishers are now focusing on the need for cultural change that includes a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion as well as organizational and business management.

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