It believes local news is a vital resource for keeping people and communities connected in the best of times as 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.
Google will also waive ad serving fees for news publishers globally on its Ad Manager for five months.
According to Richard Gingras, the vice president of news at Google, the funding is open to news organizations producing original news for local communities during this time of crisis, and will range from the low thousands of dollars for small hyper-local newsrooms to low tens of thousands for larger newsrooms, with variations per region.
Google declined to reveal the amount of money in the relief fund and how it decides what amount to allocate to each publisher.
Additionally, Google is giving $1 million collectively to the International Center for Journalists, which plans to provide immediate resources to support reporters globally, and the Columbia Journalism School's Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma that is helping journalists exposed to traumatic events experienced during the crisis.
“Starting today, publishers everywhere can apply for funds via a simple application form. We’ve made this as streamlined as possible to ensure we get help to eligible publishers all over the world,” said Gringas.
“Applications will close on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. At the end of the process, we’ll announce who has received funding and how publishers are spending the money.”
The Drum previously spoke to Google to find out how it is helping publishers in Asia with real-time data during Covid-19.