Google launches effort to support local news alongside $15 million contribution

The new initiative is in partnership with the Local Media Association and Local Media Consortium.

In an effort to support local media, Google has announced a new campaign called "Support Local News," alongside a contribution of $15 million.

The initiative is being launched in partnership with Local Media Association and Local Media Consortium, which represent 5,000 news outlets combined across the U.S. and Canada.

"When people need to understand and respond to injustice and illness all at once, local media is there to cover it, no matter the consequences," wrote Nancy Lane, president of Local Media Association, and Fran Willis, CEO of Local Media Consortium, in a blog post on Tuesday.

The post added: "The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery along with other crimes afflicting communities of color, must be reported and investigated. That same commitment is evident in the coverage of the coronavirus pandemic."

While more people than ever have been tapping into local news for coverage of the pandemic and protests, advertising dollars around media are still dropping off.

The six-week campaign, which will run across a wide variety of local outlets –including independent and minority-owned media organizations – will look to raise awareness of the challenges facing local media. It also aims to encourage more advertising, subscriptions and donations to fund local newsrooms.

"We could fill pages and pages with the work of local reporters, spanning the mundane to the truly heroic. Their stories connect people to their communities and create the citizen engagement essential to a healthy democracy. This is work that holds truth to power. Advocates for the rights of its readers. Entertains and educates," Lane and Willis wrote.

The blog ends: "But in the end this is about people—about you, our readers, our small business owners, our advertisers. It’s why we exist and why we do what we do everyday, often against the odds. If you care, and we hope you do, this is your moment. Subscribe, donate and advertise."

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