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Google Intends to Strengthen Inclusivity in the News Ecosystem With its News Equity Fund

The media plays an important role in our society as it is the direct pipeline to the world’s knowledge of current events, news and pop culture. The content that is created to inform the masses is normally seen from one perspective and even with social media becoming the most efficient way to receive news, it’s still very jaded and usually tells the stories through one lens.

Underrepresented communities are either not aware of the news that directly affects them or have to decipher the content that they are presented with. That’s why it’s important for news outlets that solely focus on sharing content that directly impacts marginalized communities and audiences is so vital to the media industry. Google realizes this importance and is doing its part to provide financial support to these companies.

In November 2020, Google announced the creation of the News Equity Fund. This fund is intended to strengthen inclusion, further empower a diverse news ecosystem and specifically support small and medium-sized publishers creating original journalism for underrepresented audiences around the world by providing financial support and opportunities to these news organizations.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with LaToya Drake, head of media representation at Google, to learn more about the fund.

Drake shares what type of organizations Google looks for when determining recipients.

We specifically targeted groups that were between one and 50. So not really super huge platforms. I really wanted to get some small hyper-local players, the types of audience that you reach and the types of stories that you tell, and how do you really reach an underrepresented audience. Those were just a few of the criteria that we set out. But this particular thing, we wanted to make it a low lift. We wanted to just say, there's a place where you can just go and get the resources that you need. Yes, we do lots of other boot camps. We do lots of workshops. As I said, we do many innovation challenges. But this was just a different approach that we were taking in terms of how to get out some resources.

Drake also shared the importance of helping small minority businesses beyond financial resources.

We know that funding is one thing, and it's great. But there is a lot more behind the curtains at Google that people would like to have resources to. So yes, we're looking specifically at what can we do after we funded you. Is there any more opportunity with some of these groups? Can we help you with ... trainings and resources and boot camps? We know that there's a bigger need. If you're thinking about going to subscriptions business, we have teams who work on that, who teach you how to really understand the data and how you reach subscribers and convert people from just readers to paying customers. So yes, this is more than we wrote a check.

Check out the full interview below.

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