Google gives $15 mn to fund ‘Support Local News ad’ campaign

Google has contributed $15 million to run an ad campaign to support local news organisations in North America amid plummeting ad revenues for media companies due to Covid-19 impacts.

Launched by Local Media Consortium and Local Media Association in partnership with the Google News Initiative, the “Support Local News” campaign will encourage consumers, businesses and advertisers to support local media.

“At Google we value the role of local news in keeping our societies informed and connected with their communities,” Richard Gingras, Vice President, News, Google, said in a statement.

“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 in supporting local news.”

The campaign started running in print and digital formats from Tuesday, for the next six weeks across most local newspapers, TV and radio stations and online-only news outlets in the US and Canada.

The campaign will direct people to visit the Support Local News website, where they can easily subscribe, advertise or donate — including an option to donate to a fund that supports local investigative reporting in newsrooms across North America or to further designate contributions for publishers of colour to support their investigative work.

“This is a significant moment for the local media industry,” said Nancy Lane, CEO of LMA.

“People may not understand why they need to support local news organisations with digital subscriptions, donations, memberships and advertising if applicable. This $15 million ad campaign will help us change the conversation.”