Author Archives: Jason Washing

Fee relief to support our news partners during COVID-19

During times of global crisis, people rely on quality journalism to stay informed and safe. And the ads that appear alongside news coverage help fund the journalists who write breaking news stories, and keep news sites and apps running. 

Many news publishers around the world use Google Ad Manager to support their digital businesses with advertising. As the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on our global economy, theGoogle News Initiative is working to identify ways to provide immediate financial support to those news organizations around the world producing original journalism. 

That’s why we’ve decided to waive ad serving fees for news publishers globally on Ad Manager for five months. Over the coming days, we’ll notify our news partners that meet the requirements about the details of the program, and what they can expect to see in their account statements. 

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. 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.

Design-thinking bootcamps for local news

Local news has never been more important. It’s the bedrock of the news industry, both keeping institutions honest and keeping local communities engaged, informed citizens. But the economics of local news is increasingly challenging, and it can be hard for local newsrooms to devote resources to thinking about new ways of storytelling and connecting to audiences in a mobile-first age.

To help local newsrooms learn important skills to get new ideas and products off the ground, we're launching a series of design-thinking bootcamps tailored to local news with Matter Ventures, a media start-up accelerator, and supported by the News Media Alliance. In total, Matter will hold four tuition-free bootcamps for teams of six from 20 different U.S. newsrooms. Each bootcamp will last three days.

Google News Lab is backing the project and helping to facilitate locations of the events at colleges in the Google News Lab University Network in Georgia, Missouri, California and New York.

The goal of the bootcamps is to help local news teams learn how to design products and experiences that address growing challenges in reaching and connecting with digital-first audiences. At previous bootcamps, newsrooms built business prototypes both practical and whimsical, like social networks that highlight needs in the community (and connect volunteers to help address them), mobile-only feature stories on local businesses with e-commerce built in directly, and even a marketplace to match people who have dogs that need walking to people who would love to give some else's dog a walk. The goal is for participants to return to their newsrooms with new ideas, connections and tangible lessons and tools to drive innovation inside their own newsrooms and communities.

Applications are open, starting today. If you’re interested in applying, talk to colleagues and put together a team. Each accepted publication can bring up to six individuals. Teams are encouraged to be multidisciplinary, so consider making a team of diverse colleagues from editorial, business, tech, or design.

If you have questions, please reach out to our friends at Matter: [email protected].