Sonoma West Publishers was among the first recipients of a COVID-19 related newsroom assistance grant from the Google News Initiative Emergency Relief Fund. More than 12,000 news organizations applied for an undisclosed number and amount of the grants
“Local news is a vital resource for keeping people and communities connected in the best of times,” said Richard Gingras, a vice president at Google News.
“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. But that role is being challenged as the news industry deals with job cuts, furloughs and cutbacks as a result of the economic downturn prompted by COVID-19.”
Tribune Publisher Rollie Atkinson said the $7,000 grant would be used to bolster the continuing news coverage of the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have kept our news team working on this fast-breaking and historic story even as we must shelter-in-place and forego most of our revenues,” said Atkinson. “We are grateful for any and all support we can get for our local news gathering. These are times when what we do is absolutely essential. Accurate and timely information can save lives.”