— Google

Introducing the GNI News Equity Fund

The last few years have been challenging for everyone, none more so than marginalized communities. That’s something we recognize at the Google News Initiative, where we are committed to the fight for equity and are pushing ourselves to build diversity, fairness and inclusion standards into the fabric of every program that we build and every partnership that we create.

Given the scale of these challenges and the task ahead, we are announcing our GNI Global News Equity Fund, a multi-million dollar commitment to provide cash awards up to $250,000 to news organizations that are owned by or serve underrepresented communities around the world. These are non-dilutive awards, meaning companies won’t have to exchange ownership for the funding. We will provide more details on how to participate in the fund in early 2022.

Without question this is a movement, not a moment. All too often, efforts related to equity and representation are an isolated afterthought. We believe this new funding allows us to build on some early foundational work we have done to create a more representative and inclusive news industry, from accelerating the digital transformation of diverse publishers, to driving innovation among underrepresented news organizations, to supporting research that shines a light on the key issues facing underrepresented journalists and communities.

One of our goals at the GNI is to help in the digital transformation of diverse publishers. It’s the reason we partnered with a number of news associations in creating the Ads Transformation Lab to help 28 Black and Latino-owned publications in the U.S. grow their business for a digital future. There are some encouraging early results, with participating publishers experiencing an average of 25% increase in programmatic revenue and a 10% increase in traffic. “The GNI Ad Transformation Lab was an intense education,” says Bethany Lane, Revenue Strategist at QCity Metro in Charlotte, North Carolina. “It has pushed us further down the road toward sustainability.” QCity Metro experienced more than 100% growth in direct sold advertising revenue and average revenue per client, and secured a number of new advertising clients as a result.

Through the GNI’s North America Innovation Challenge, we funded Jambalaya News Lousiana’s project to reach their audiences in a unique and accessible way: creating an SMS alert system that sends parish-specific breaking news, local stories, events and services to the Latino, Spanish-speaking and immigrant community in Louisiana.


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