News

Facebook emergency grant aids local journalists during COVID-19 crisis

Parent company of the Almanac receives funding to stabilize staffing

Embarcadero Media has received a $100,000 emergency grant to sustain its work during the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to the Facebook Journalism Project's COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund. Embarcadero is one of 26 newsrooms in California selected to share $2.2 million in support from the Menlo Park social-networking giant.

Embarcadero Media — a local, independently owned news organization — publishes the Almanac, Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com, the Mountain View Voice, the Pleasanton Weekly, DanvilleSanRamon.com and TheSixFifty.com.

Other California newsrooms receiving Facebook grants range from Berkeleyside to San Jose Spotlight to CalMatters.

The Facebook program received 2,000 applications from newsrooms across the U.S. and its territories; in total, 144 recipients are being funded between $25,000 and $100,000, the company stated in a May 7 press release. The grants are supporting many publishers who are hardest hit by this crisis: Nearly 80% of recipients are family- or independently owned and more than half are published by or for communities of color.

"We're proud to support this diverse group of publishers — many of which are family- or independently owned. Not only are these journalists working tirelessly to serve people right now — they're focused on transformation, building innovative local news businesses that can continue to serve communities beyond the current pandemic," said Campbell Brown, vice president of global news partnerships at Facebook.

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The COVID-19 Local News Relief Grant Program was designed to provide funding so newsrooms could both respond to immediate community needs and/or offset some revenue shortfalls to help publishers maintain long-term sustainability during this crisis, Facebook stated.

Embarcadero Media plans to use the grant to help reinstate some furloughed employees and restore other workers' hours, fund technology and IT upgrades that have been needed during this period of remote work and pay for marketing expenses to support membership initiatives, according to Bill Johnson, president and CEO of Embarcadero Media.

The grant will also help the company in its long-term plans, including accelerating expansion of its digital publishing and creating deeper synergies between its millennials-focused weekly newsletter TheSixFifty.com and dining-oriented newsletter Peninsula Foodist, Johnson said.

"This vitally important grant money is a tremendous opportunity for us to not only restore staffing levels so we can continue to serve the communities in which we publish but also to lay groundwork for our future journalism projects and business development," Johnson said.

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Facebook emergency grant aids local journalists during COVID-19 crisis

Parent company of the Almanac receives funding to stabilize staffing

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Tue, May 12, 2020, 10:23 am

Embarcadero Media has received a $100,000 emergency grant to sustain its work during the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to the Facebook Journalism Project's COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund. Embarcadero is one of 26 newsrooms in California selected to share $2.2 million in support from the Menlo Park social-networking giant.

Embarcadero Media — a local, independently owned news organization — publishes the Almanac, Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com, the Mountain View Voice, the Pleasanton Weekly, DanvilleSanRamon.com and TheSixFifty.com.

Other California newsrooms receiving Facebook grants range from Berkeleyside to San Jose Spotlight to CalMatters.

The Facebook program received 2,000 applications from newsrooms across the U.S. and its territories; in total, 144 recipients are being funded between $25,000 and $100,000, the company stated in a May 7 press release. The grants are supporting many publishers who are hardest hit by this crisis: Nearly 80% of recipients are family- or independently owned and more than half are published by or for communities of color.

"We're proud to support this diverse group of publishers — many of which are family- or independently owned. Not only are these journalists working tirelessly to serve people right now — they're focused on transformation, building innovative local news businesses that can continue to serve communities beyond the current pandemic," said Campbell Brown, vice president of global news partnerships at Facebook.

The COVID-19 Local News Relief Grant Program was designed to provide funding so newsrooms could both respond to immediate community needs and/or offset some revenue shortfalls to help publishers maintain long-term sustainability during this crisis, Facebook stated.

Embarcadero Media plans to use the grant to help reinstate some furloughed employees and restore other workers' hours, fund technology and IT upgrades that have been needed during this period of remote work and pay for marketing expenses to support membership initiatives, according to Bill Johnson, president and CEO of Embarcadero Media.

The grant will also help the company in its long-term plans, including accelerating expansion of its digital publishing and creating deeper synergies between its millennials-focused weekly newsletter TheSixFifty.com and dining-oriented newsletter Peninsula Foodist, Johnson said.

"This vitally important grant money is a tremendous opportunity for us to not only restore staffing levels so we can continue to serve the communities in which we publish but also to lay groundwork for our future journalism projects and business development," Johnson said.

Comments

resident
Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 12, 2020 at 10:47 am
resident, Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 12, 2020 at 10:47 am
14 people like this

Is Facebook giving money to all local journalists or just the ones who write nice stories about them?


Why
Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 12, 2020 at 11:05 am
Why, Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 12, 2020 at 11:05 am
6 people like this

Don’t give money to journals and fake news. If they fail, they fail. It’s result of mismanagement and poor journalism. This is why almanac has been failing for years!


whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 12, 2020 at 12:53 pm
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 12, 2020 at 12:53 pm
9 people like this

The better way to have handled this would've been for Facebook to have funneled the funds through know press finders such as the. Knight Foundation, SNA Foundation, American Press Institute, etc. That way hopefully avoiding chances of impropriety by grantees of the funds.
Once an entity knows who has given them funds there always lurks the chance of having your reporting and editorial influenced.
This is especially true when that direct donor is the largest company and employer in your local.


Three Cheers
Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on May 12, 2020 at 1:41 pm
Three Cheers, Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on May 12, 2020 at 1:41 pm
7 people like this

Terrific! Embarcadero Publishing deserves this Grant and more. Our local governments need a watchdog so residents will understand why things are the way they are. Without the Almanac, the administration could continue to present to the public only the happy news. How do residents know what the overall plans are for the future of Menlo Park?
A local newspaper informs the public as to the development projects before our council and how our council votes. This information guides us when we vote for new council members. Every city needs journalists to keep residents informed.

Three cheers for the Facebook Grant. Now, the rest of you, pony up and support your town newspaper.


whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 12, 2020 at 2:17 pm
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 12, 2020 at 2:17 pm
Like this comment

edit to my above comment

"funneled the funds through known press funders"


Why not?
Atherton: other
on May 12, 2020 at 3:34 pm
Why not?, Atherton: other
on May 12, 2020 at 3:34 pm
14 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 12, 2020 at 5:02 pm
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 12, 2020 at 5:02 pm
4 people like this

As an aside the SFChron reported today that MarkZ and wife gave $100k to each of eight of their favorite restaurants to basically use as needed. Most of them around here on the Peninsula. Guess to make sure the can get their favorites after this virus ends.
I bet organizations like Ecumenical Hunger Program and local churches that feed the needy could have put that $800k to good use helping hundreds. Apologies if the Zs' foundation is giving already substantial funds to those orgs during this crucial time of need.


if ya read it....
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 12, 2020 at 5:05 pm
if ya read it...., Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 12, 2020 at 5:05 pm
20 people like this

> It’s result of mismanagement and poor journalism. This is why almanac has been failing for years!

Yet...

They haven't failed. Despite your silly claim "has been failing for years".

And...

You see fit to use their many services (news, opinion, calendar, etc..)

Well, at least with you as a fine, honorable, upstanding citizen, we know you are paying the Almanac for the many services of which you avail yourself.

Right?


Why
Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 13, 2020 at 10:32 am
Why, Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 13, 2020 at 10:32 am
2 people like this

Well the almanac is free for a reason, no one in their right mind would pay for their third-rate “journalism”. I certainly would not


Town Square Moderator
Menlo Park: other
on May 13, 2020 at 2:38 pm
Town Square Moderator, Menlo Park: other
on May 13, 2020 at 2:38 pm
5 people like this

@Whatever,

What you suggest is exactly what Facebook and Google have done with the grant programs. The programs are administered by independent, nonprofit journalism organizations. In the case of Facebook program, it was under the auspices of the Local Media Association and the selection committee consisted of representatives of the Institute for Nonprofit News, Lenfest Institute for Journalism, Local Independent Online News Publishers, Local Media Consortium and the National Association of Broadcasters.


if ya read it....
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 13, 2020 at 4:10 pm
if ya read it...., Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 13, 2020 at 4:10 pm
3 people like this

> I certainly would not

So you use the product and don't pay for it. And then insult it.

Thanks for sharing - it clarifies much. Everyone reading this knows whats going on.


Takashi
Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 13, 2020 at 5:45 pm
Takashi, Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 13, 2020 at 5:45 pm
2 people like this

If you are a business owner who is also a political donor to a City Council member in San Mateo County odds are good that you got a $10,000 grant from San Mateo County Strong.


whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 13, 2020 at 8:07 pm
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 13, 2020 at 8:07 pm
Like this comment

Town Square Moderator
If what you say is true why wasn't that info in the article. However it does nothing to address the problem of the news orgs knowing who gave the money. Also 2000 applicants and only 20 some grantees one of the largest of which is the Almanac, PA Weekly org
Sorry, doesn't pass the uninfluenced press smell test.


Town Square Moderator
Menlo Park: other
on May 13, 2020 at 8:17 pm
Town Square Moderator, Menlo Park: other
on May 13, 2020 at 8:17 pm
5 people like this

@whatever

If you read the article you'll see that 144 organizations received grants. Facts do matter. You're zero for 2.


margret
Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 18, 2020 at 11:08 pm
margret, Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 18, 2020 at 11:08 pm
Like this comment

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