News Department Resources for COVID-19

Google News Initiative Journalism Emergency Relief Fund:

Apply by April 29, 2020. The program provides funding amounts for small and medium-sized news organizations that are producing original news for local communities. ranging from the low thousands for small hyper-local newsrooms to low tens of thousands for larger newsrooms. It is open to small and medium-sized local news organizations with both a digital presence and newsroom size between two and 100 journalists.

Facebook’s COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant Program:

Apply by April 24, 2020. Offering $25,000-$100,000 in grant opportunities to help local news organizations continue serving communities during the coronavirus outbreak.

Facebook Digital Media Bootcamp:

Multi-week online curriculum and webinar-based program. It was built to help news organizations and partners stay up to date with products and information to sustain their organizations during this unprecedented time. Register to receive information about the Bootcamp here.

Governor Scott’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Order:

Lists “News Media” as essential workers, which includes anyone involved in producing a radio or television broadcast and means:

  1. Those broadcasters who cannot work from home are exempt and can travel to stations, towers, breaking news locations, etc. No credentials identifying you as News Media are needed because no authorities will ask for them.
  2. News Media who do not have access to childcare now qualify for “Essential Workers Childcare.” Apply Here

Impacts to Open Meeting Law & Public Records Access:

Senate Government Operations committee proposed emergency legislation 3/23/20 regarding Open Meeting Law procedure:

Relevant Poynter Institute Articles:

FCC Announcement about News Sharing:

  • FCC agrees that pooling arrangements for the coverage of news and other COVID-19 issues do not need to be in writing and do not need to be in the public file
  • Read FCC Doc
  • Read David Oxenford’s Blog


If you have a question or want to suggest a topic or a resource not already covered, email