COVID-19 has exacerbated many problems in society. Local journalism has seen a drop-off in advertising revenue and a lack of reporters to cover community-related pandemic developments. Google today is donating $15 million to run ads encouraging people to support local news.
These major stories with local ramifications have led to an increase in people reading, watching and listening to the news—but this uptick doesn’t offset the plummet in advertising. This trend has hit local news particularly hard, since most organizations faced financial stress before COVID-19.
The “Support Local News” campaign will run for six weeks in print and online publications. Thousands of outlets — including media organizations of color — in the US and Canada will see bold, full-page calls to “subscribe. donate. advertise.”
This effort will raise awareness of the difficulties facing local news providers across a diversity of communities, and encourage more advertising, subscriptions and donations to fund local newsrooms.
This specifically entails subscribing to local newspapers or donating to funds that support investigative journalism and publishers of color. Meanwhile, businesses and advertisers are encouraged to “invest their marketing dollars.”
Google is working with the Local Media Association and Local Media Consortium on this effort. Its logo will appear at the bottom of the print.
More about Google News Initiative:
- Journalism Emergency Relief Fund providing aid to over 5,300 publications worldwide
- Google launches Journalism Emergency Relief Fund to support local news amid COVID-19
- Google News featuring COVID-19 section across apps, Assistant, and Podcasts
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