Before I joined Google, I worked in a number of roles in local news, including as a news director in Flagstaff, Arizona. Working in radio solidified my love of local stories; our news helped people understand what was going on in their community and how it would impact their families.
Now, I work daily to find ways to support local news organizations, working with our teams at Google on trainings, funding and product solutions for local journalists and news publishers. Our goal is to help them build sustainable businesses, connect with readers and engage audiences. To help address these challenges, today we’re announcing a number of new ways we’re investing in local news organizations in the U.S.
More investment to support local news in the U.S.
The Google News Initiative is launching new partnerships with five news associations to provide financial grants and training to nearly 1,000 local publications across the U.S. This funding will help local publishers overcome tech challenges, and create strategies and tactics for driving audience growth, individual giving and sponsorship revenue.
Publishers that are members of Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION), the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP), Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) & Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) are eligible to apply for these funds. Around 80% of these member publications have 10 or fewer employees.
This announcement builds on other GNI programs that have helped participants see an over 50% increase in digital advertising revenue year over year after they participated in a three-month training program. GNI programs have helped nonprofit newsrooms see a 87% increase in sponsorship revenue, 75% increase in ad revenue and 41% in event revenue.
“For a number of years the National Association of Hispanic Publications has been proud to partner with the Google News Initiative team to build programs that enable publishers to overcome gaps in digital readiness,” says Alvaro Gurdián Jr., Vice President of the NAHP. “Those programs strengthened, and in some cases created, digital revenue streams and put our publishers on a path to sustainability. This new initiative will supercharge those results and impact the entire industry, and all of the communities we serve.”
“Our members have proven themselves indispensable to the communities they serve, boasting devoted and substantial local audiences because of the vital work they do,” says Graham Jarrett, president of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. “However, as small-scale operations, they face challenges in keeping pace with the rapidly evolving digital landscape. These investments will enable us to sustain our vital work and position us for the next generation of journalists and readers.”
New features to help people find and follow local news
Later this summer, we will launch News Showcase in the U.S., in partnership with more than 150 news publications, 90% of them local or regional. Our U.S. News Showcase partners are based in 39 states and include publications like Duluth News Tribune in Minnesota, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune in Louisiana, Oaklandside and La Opinión in California, La Raza in Illinois and Orlando Weekly in Florida, and global and national publications like The Associated Press, Bloomberg, El Diario, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and many more.
We first launched the News Showcase licensing program and product experience for news organizations in 2020, and have since expanded to 22 countries globally with more than 2,300 participating publications.