The National Geographic Society has launched an emergency fund to support journalists around the world who are working to provide COVID-19 coverage in their communities. The organization says that the primary focus of the initiative is to deliver evidence-based information to “underserved populations” (including children, the elderly and immigrant or refugee communities) on a local or hyper-local basis. Grants provided through the program will range from $1,000 to $8,000, and those eligible include writers, photographers, audio journalists, filmmakers and data visualization experts. To apply for the program, or to make a contribution to the fund, click here.
Gannett is instituting pay cuts and furloughs throughout the company as it contends with the current crisis, according to a report in the New York Post. The furloughs will apply on a rolling basis to staffers who make over $38,000 a year through June. The company also says that future layoffs are possible. In addition, company executives will take a 25 percent pay cut and CEO Paul Bascobert said in a memo that he will forgo his salary entirely until the pay reductions and furloughs end. He added that the increase in digital traffic and online subscriptions from readers seeking information about the coronavirus was not enough to offset ad losses. Gannett, the country’s biggest newspaper chain, publishes USA TODAY, in addition to such papers as the Detroit Free Press, Arizona Republic and Des Moines Register. In November, the company merged with New Media Investment Company, which owns Gatehouse Media.
Slate is joining the ranks of digital news outlets that are asking readers to assume a greater role in funding the company. Joining the site’s Slate Plus membership program ($35 for the first year) will now be necessary to read much of its content. The number of articles that can be read for free before the paywall kicks in is to be determined. (Slate stresses that its content about the coronavirus crisis will remain free.) “Going forward, we think the way we will truly thrive is by continuing to diversify our revenue,” Slate editor-in-chief Jared Hohlt said in a March 25 post on the site. According to MediaPost, Slate Plus currently has 60,000 members.