Google News Initiative Reveals Grant Winners for Journalism Emergency Relief Fund

Over 12,000 applications were received from 140 eligible countries

90% of applications came from newsrooms with fewer than 26 journalists Google News Initiative

Google provided an update on the Google News Initiative Journalism Emergency Relief Fund it started last month, saying that grants ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 went to over 5,300 small and midsized newsrooms around the world.

Google News Initiative head of innovation Ludovic Blecher said in a blog post that applications covering a number of publications under one organization were capped at $85,000, adding that Google expects final funding to wind up in the tens of millions of dollars.

Blecher said Google News Initiative received over 12,000 applications from 140 eligible countries, and 90% of those applications came from newsrooms with fewer than 26 journalists. He added that roughly one-half of those applications failed to meet the necessary criteria.

Google head of U.S. news and publishing Chris Jansen highlighted the following recipients in the blog post: Chestnut Hill Local, Philadelphia; The Discourse Cowichan, Canada; Madison365, Madison, Wis.; The Daily Memphian, Memphis, Tenn.; and WTIP North Shore Community Radio, Grand Marais, Minn.

He wrote, “As we read their stories, we were struck by the number of news organizations in the U.S. and Canada keeping their communities informed with fewer than 10 full-time employees. As small businesses, many applicants are trying to figure out how to keep the lights on, literally and figuratively. They’re passionate about providing high-quality journalism, and it’s an honor to support them during such a critical point.”

Director of partnerships for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Mark Peters called out: Baraka FM, Kenya; Bihoreanul, Romania; Eco di Bergamo, Italy; Mediacités, France; and Rochdale Online, U.K.

He wrote, “We received applications from 88 countries and, so far, we’ve offered funding to more than 1,550 publishers, each demonstrating the diversity and strength of local communities and the journalists that continue to serve them through the crisis.”

Head of media, news and entertainment partnerships for the Asia-Pacific region Rohan Tiwary put the spotlight on: East Mojo, India; Minnambalam, India; The Murray Pioneer, Australia; Saltama Shimbun, Japan; and Suara Surabaya, Indonesia.

He wrote, “Asia-Pacific has dealt with Covid-19 for longer than any other region—since January, in some places—so we know how urgently this support is needed. When we looked at the more than 2,000 applications, we considered Asia Pacific’s enormous diversity—not just across ethnicities, religions and languages, but also in terms of the news landscape. We’re supporting more than 800 news organizations in 30 countries and territories.”

Finally, online partnerships group lead for Latin America Camilo Gomez mentioned: Agencia Amazonia, Brazil; El Colombiano, Colombia; La Discusion, Chile; and El Imparcial, Mexico.

He wrote, “The process behind reviewing each of the 2,000-plus applications in the region was an opportunity to connect with the amazing journalism and stories that support local communities.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.