106 UK local news titles receive Google emergency relief funds

Over a hundred UK-based local news titles are to benefit from funding from a Journalism Emergency Relief Fund by Google News Initiative to ease the impact of Covid-19 on regional publishers.

106 UK local news titles receive Google emergency relief funds
Ludovic Blecher: “In the last few months, we have provided $39.5 million in funding to more than 5600 publishers in 115 countries.” Photograph: Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

As reported by Mariella Brown on the Society of Editors website:

The digital giant has now named the 106 UK recipients of the global fund, which includes independent newspapers the Camden New Journal, Islington Tribune, Henley Standard and Jewish Telegraph.

Titles from the regional press’s smaller publishing groups receiving Google funding are: the Cambridge Independent and Kent Online of Iliffe Media, Coventry Observer of Bullivant Media group, and Baylis Media’s Maidenhead Advertiser & Slough Express.

Larger publishing groups Midlands News Association – publisher of the Express and Star – and The Courier/ The Press and Journal of DC Thomson Media in Scotland will also benefit.

The funding has already assisted DC Thomson with supporting new content teams to help generate 10,000 subscribers during lockdown, the initiative reports.

The West Highland Free Press, which temporarily ceased publication in April due to the pandemic, is also listed as a recipient. The UK’s only employee-owned paper will make a return to print in August under the new editorship of Keith MacKenzie who assumes the role following predecessor Ian McCormack’s retirement.

Google News Initiative says it has now provided $39.5 million in funding to more than 5600 publishers in 115 countries through its Journalism Emergency Relief Fund.

The tech giant says the aim of the fund is to recognise the role of local news organisations at the forefront in helping their communities navigate Covid-19.

More than 12,000 applications for the emergency fund were reportedly made within just two weeks of Google announcing the scheme in April.

Google carried out a survey when receiving applications which found that 60 per cent of the recipients were planning to diversify their revenue streams following Covid-19. Developing subscription, membership or contribution models were cited plans – no doubt to counter the loss of advertising revenue triggered by the pandemic.

Ludovic Blecher, Head of Google News Initiative Innovation, said in a post announcing the recipients: “When COVID-19 was turning the world upside down, we didn’t know what to expect. The intent was simple: help address a very real need from local publishers and news sites globally that are facing financial hardship as a result of the economic and advertising downturn.

“In the last few months, we have provided $39.5 million in funding to more than 5600 publishers in 115 countries. The money is being applied in diverse and creative ways, from ensuring basic reporting needs and giving emergency stipends to allow reporters to cover the crisis, to driving audience engagement and generating subscriptions.”

A full list of UK recipients appears below:

  • 104.7 Island FM
  • Altrincham Today (Hyperlocal Today)
  • Armagh I
  • Ballymena Guardian (Alpha Media Group Limited)
  • Bedford Independent (Progress Publishing Ltd)
  • Birmingham Updates (Updates Media)
  • Brighton and Hove News
  • Bristol24/7
  • Bromsgrove Standard (Bullivant Media Ltd)
  • Caerphilly Observer
  • Cambridge Independent (Iliffe Media Group)
  • Camden New Journal, Islington Tribune, Westminster Extra
  • Campbeltown Courier (Wyvex Media Ltd)
  • Channel 103
  • City A.M.
  • Coleraine Chronicle (Alpha Media Group Limited)
  • Cornwall Reports (Ragged Trouser Productions Ltd)
  • County Down Outlook (Alpha Media Group Limited)
  • Coventry Observer (Bullivant Media Ltd)
  • Cumberland & Westmorland Herald
  • Droitwich Standard (Bullivant Media Ltd)
  • East Devon
  • Evesham and Pershore Observer (Bullivant Media Ltd)
  • Fermanagh Herald (North West of Ireland Printing and Publishing Company)
  • Glossop Chronicle (Quest Media Network Limited)
  • Goole Times (Chronicle Publications Ltd)
  • Hackney Citizen (Citizen News & Media Limited)
  • Hastings Online Times
  • Henley Standard
  • Island Echo (ICNN)
  • Jewish Telegraph
  • Just Regional
  • KCW London
  • KentOnline (Iliffe Media Group)
  • KMTV (Note: The University of Kent is a majority shareholder.)
  • Latest Group CIC
  • Leamington Observer (Bullivant Media Ltd)
  • Llanelli Online
  • Londra Gazete
  • LymeOnline
  • Maidenhead Advertiser & Slough Express (Baylis Media Ltd)
  • Malvern Observer (Bullivant Media Ltd)
  • Melksham Indpendent News (Wiltshire Publications Ltd)
  • Midland News Association, publisher of the Express & Star and Shropshire Star (Claverley Group)
  • MKFM
  • MyWelshpool and MyNewtown (MyTown Media Ltd)
  • New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times
  • New Valley News (formerly Valley News)
  • Newbury Weekly News
  • Newry Democrat (Alpha Media Group Limited)
  • News OnTheWight
  • Northern Scot (Highland News and Media Ltd)
  • Nub News
  • Perth Gazette
  • Redditch and Alcester Standard (Bullivant Media Ltd)
  • Rochdale Online
  • Ross-Shire Journal (Highland News and Media Ltd)
  • Rugby and Lutterworth Observer (Bullivant Media Ltd)
  • Saddleworth Independent (Local Communications Limited)
  • Salford Star (Mary Burns Community Group)
  • Sheffield Live
  • Shetland News
  • So Counties
  • SoGlos (SoPublishing)
  • Solihull Observer (Bullivant Media Ltd)
  • South London Press
  • Southwark News
  • Star Radio
  • Stratford-upon-Avon Observer (Bullivant Media Ltd)
  • Strathspey and Badenoch Herald (Highland News and Media Ltd)
  • SWNS (SWNS Media Group Ltd)
  • Tameside Reporter (Quest Media Network Limited)
  • Teesdale Mercury
  • Th Arran Banner (Wyvex Media Ltd)
  • The Barnsley Chronicle (Acredula Group Limited)
  • The Bureau Local (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)
  • The Courier/The Press and Journal (DC Thomson Media)
  • The Ferret
  • The Guildford Dragon NEWS
  • The Inverness Courier (Highland News and Media Limited)
  • The Irish News (The Irish News Limited)
  • The Lincolnite (Stonebow Media)
  • The Moorlander
  • The Northern Times (Highland News and Media Ltd)
  • The Oban Times (Wyvex Media Ltd)
  • The Shetland Times
  • The Spalding and South Holland Voice
  • The Week In
  • The Wokingham Paper
  • Thorne Times (Wake Up Media Ltd)
  • Tottenham Community Press (Social Spider CIC)
  • Tyrone Constution (Alpha Media Group Limited)
  • Tyrone Courier (Alpha Media Group Limited)
  • Ulster Gazette (Alpha Media Group Limited)
  • VIEWDigital
  • Waltham Forest Echo (Social Spider CIC)
  • West Highland Free Press
  • Woking News & Mail (Warm Welcome Management Ltd)
  • Worcester Observer (Bullivant Media Ltd)
  • (we also run and North.Wales)
  • YourThurrock.Com
  • Zetha Ltd