Google Announces Emergency Plans to Help News Organizations

Some good news from Google if you’re in the news business… Ad Manager fees are being waived, and they are creating emergency relief funds.

“Google said on Friday it will waive for the next five months the small fee it charges news publishers to decide which ads to show on their online properties,” notes this article in Reuters. “News publishers, especially the print media, have struggled as many advertisers pulled their marketing budgets to rein in costs because of economic uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic.”

The help is appreciated, but it doesn’t let Google off the hook for their dominance of the digital ad business and the impact that is having on the news business, notes Jason Kint, CEO of media industry

“… we would be foolish to believe this changes any other well-founded concerns around Google’s dominance over the digital ad business,” Kint said.

Google says this is just one of the ways they are helping the news industry.

“As the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on our global economy, the Google News Initiative is working to identify ways to provide immediate financial support to those news organizations around the world producing original journalism,” Jason Washing, Director, Global Partnerships – News, said in a statement. “Over the coming days, we’ll notify our news partners that meet the requirements about the details of the programme, and what they can expect to see in their account statements,” Washing added.

“This builds on the GNI’s Journalism Emergency Relief Fund, which is delivering aid to thousands of small and local news publishers globally, and other programs to support the industry,” Washing continues. “With these efforts, we aim to help news organizations reduce some of the cost of managing their businesses and funding important journalism during this time.”

The relief fund has been set up to deliver “urgent aid to thousands of small, medium and local news publishers globally,” said Richard Gingras, Google’s VP of New. “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.” is also reportedly giving away $1 million collectively to ICFJ and the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at Columbia Journalism School. These funds will support reporters and help journalists exposed to traumatic events during the crisis.

News publishers can apply directly to Google’s emergency relief fund.