The Google News Initiative is working with the American Journalism Project to find U.S.-based founders with innovative ideas that can advance local news online.
The latest 18-month venture launched by the Google News Initiative and American Journalism Project in the United States aims to advance a new generation of news organizations based on the center's guidelines.
It financially seeds and supports new local news organizations led by “exceptional talent,” from conception through launch.
Conor Crowley, head of startups at the Google News Initiative, stated that the founders of the startups will “closely reflect the communities they serve while meeting information needs in innovative new ways.”
No mention in the announcement, however, on whether the startups chosen will have support and guidance in ranking higher across Google Search results.
Team members from the American Journalism Project and Google News Initiative will review applications and make selection decisions, according to a Google spokesperson.
The announcement, made on Wednesday, comes one day after Google launched several live newsroom experiments in Australia and New Zealand to support trusted journalism.
Three news organizations — Nine Publishing, the National Indigenous Times, and BusinessDesk New Zealand — will launch live pilots in their newsrooms.
The program aims to lessen the financial burden often placed on nonprofit news founders, and give emerging newsroom leaders the opportunity to pursue building startups full time.
Founders will be able to focus on building their business plan and raising additional capital before they launch. Applicants can apply through February 15, 2023.
Sarabeth Berman, CEO of the American Journalism Project, believes ambitious nonprofit news projects are driving an industry shift in local news, which is essential to U.S. democracy.
“We’re excited to support the next generation of local news leaders who are rising to this moment and eager to build ambitious, scalable organizations that meet the information needs of communities,” Berman stated.
The project will support up to four startup ideas. Each will receive $400,000 in seed funding, and personalized, hands-on support to complete research and development.
The American Journalism Project, which launched in 2019, has invested funding in 33 organizations at various stages of development. This program with Google will apply the lessons learned from nonprofit local news organizations across the country.
rural counties, too?