Local news has become critical to the communities it serves during the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd. To address the importance of reliable local news, the Local Media Consortium (LMC) and Local Media Association (LMA) are partnering with the Google News Initiative on a new major ad campaign.
The campaign, dubbed “Support Local News,” is backed by $15 million in funding from Google and will run across print and digital platforms for six weeks.
It focuses on the importance of supporting newsrooms through subscriptions, donations and advertising. Platforms include local newspapers, TV and radio stations, in addition to online-only news outlets in the U.S. and Canada.
“People may not understand why they need to support local news organizations with digital subscriptions, donations, memberships and advertising if applicable. This $15 million ad campaign will help us change the conversation,” stated Nancy Lane, CEO of LMA.
“We appreciate Google’s support of local media with this campaign that intentionally includes a diverse mix of publishers, including smaller outlets and those serving underrepresented audiences. We ask other national advertisers to follow this example by running campaigns with local media organizations across North America.”
A Support Local News website supports the campaign and allows visitors to subscribe, advertise and donate with an option to support a fund that invests in local investigative reporting in newsrooms. In addition, they can earmark donations to support the investigative work of publishers of color.
Richard Gingras, vice president, news, at Google, stated: “We have long partnered with the LMA and LMC to enable a strong future for local news. At this crucial time, when the demand for local journalism is especially great and advertising dollars have dwindled, we have joined with the LMA and LMC on this campaign in an effort to encourage everyone — readers, local businesses and advertisers big and small — to play a part to play a part in supporting local news.”
The campaign follows the May launch of affiliate organization Local Media Foundation’s COVID-19 Local News Fund, which has raised more than $1.4 million for independent and family-owned news organizations to date.
The funds are meant to support coverage of the pandemic in communities across the U.S.