Google is following in Facebook's footsteps by offering financial aid to local newsrooms, which are continuing to cover the coronavirus epidemic even as it hits their income sources. On Wednesday, it revealed the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund and encouraged small and medium-sized news organizations to apply immediately.
Publishers can seek funds through an online application form, which will be available until April 29 at 11:59 p.m. PT.
"Local news is a vital resource for keeping people and communities connected in the best of times," Richard Gingras, Google's vice president of news, wrote in a blog post. "Today, 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 set up a $300 million News Initiative in 2018, in an effort to crack down on misinformation.