Google Does the Bare Minimum to Keep Industry It Destroyed on Life Support

Photo: Getty ImagesDespite surging traffic and readership as coronavirus keeps people in their homes and on the internet, the media layoffs and pay cuts just keep coming. Now, here to save journalism in its hour of need, Google has launched the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund to “deliver urgent aid to thousands of small, medium and…

Google Does the Bare Minimum to Keep Industry It Destroyed on Life Support

Photo: Getty ImagesDespite surging traffic and readership as coronavirus keeps people in their homes and on the internet, the media layoffs and pay cuts just keep coming. Now, here to save journalism in its hour of need, Google has launched the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund to “deliver urgent aid to thousands of small, medium and local news publishers globally.” OK, Google—this relief fund is a drop in the bucket compared to the cash the company has raked in over the years while helping to gut publishers left and right.In its blog, Google says from now until April 29, any publication can apply for relief so long as it produces “original news for local communities.” But the fund will only provide aid in the “low thousands” for “small hyper-local” newsrooms and in the “low tens of thousands” for larger newsrooms. The application guidelines also note that the fund is targeted toward newsrooms with somewhere between two and 100 full-time journalists—so those that rely on part-time and contract workers may be out of luck—and limit what type of coverage is worthy of a bailout. For instance, applicants must have a “focus on core news,” discounting lifestyle, sports, and business-to-business publications. Something is better than nothing, but it sure does smack of “too little, too late.”The covid-19 pandemic hasn’t created the disconnect between high traffic and an increasingly unsustainable media industry; it’s just highlighted how much damage has alre
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