News

Brian Sokutu
Senior Print Journalist
1 minute read
4 Aug 2020
5:17 am

Google launches relief fund for media

Brian Sokutu

Eligible applicants should focus on core news provision, not lifestyle, sports or business-to-business.

Most Google employees can expect to work from home through the end of the year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. GETTY IMAGES/AFP/File/Drew Angerer

The gesture by Google to spend $39.5 million (about R680 million) in funding media houses around the world during Covid-19 would go a long way in assisting an economically crippled media, if conditions guaranteed editorial independence, according to an expert.

The grants would give recipients a chance to diversify revenue and apply new business models. Among conditions to be eligible for the grant were that:

  • Applicants should have a digital presence, having been in operation for at least 12 months.
  • Newsrooms had to employ between two and 100 full-time journalists.
  • Local publishers employing more than 100 journalists could still apply and would be considered subject to Google’s discretion, based mainly on differing needs in different countries and regions.
  • Organisations must be incorporated or registered in one of the eligible geographies. Unincorporated organisations should be based in one of the eligible geographies.
  • Eligible applicants should focus on core news provision, not lifestyle, sports or business-to-business.
  • Applicants could include for-profit or nonprofit traditional news organisations, digital natives, radio and television broadcasters.
  • Government-owned entities and individuals would not be eligible to apply. Selected applicants would be required to enrol as a Google partner (if they were not already).

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