The Facebook Journalism Project announced Thursday that the Source Weekly was among the newsrooms awarded funds to support local journalism at a time when it is needed most. Over 2,000 newsrooms applied for the COVID-19 Local News Relief Grant Program, with just 144 awarded funds through the program.
“Our free weekly paper has long been locally supported by the Central Oregon businesses who choose to advertise in our publication,” said Source Weekly Editor Nicole Vulcan. “With many local businesses put on hold through the COVID-19 pandemic, support like this means we are in a stronger position to be able to bring the news, culture and stories of local people that our readers want and need. We are thrilled to be able to put these grant funds right back into our community—covering payroll for our hard-working employees, as well as hiring translators to ramp up our Spanish language news offerings across Central Oregon.”
The COVID-10 Local News Relief Fund grants, part of the Facebook Journalism Project, range from $25,000-$100,000, and are intended to help publishers continue serving communities during the coronavirus outbreak.
- An image from a recent Source Weekly cover.
The Source Weekly is one of just three Oregon news outlets awarded funds through the program, which placed high priority on family-owned and independent news outlets. Eugene Weekly of Eugene and the Underscore Media Collaboration in Portland are the other Oregon grantees.
According to the program, grant recipients were selected through a process led by the Local Media Association and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, with significant contributions from the Institute for Nonprofit News, Local Independent Online News Publishers, Local Media Consortium and the National Association of Broadcasters.
Four in five of the grantees, including the Source Weekly, 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, VP of global news partnerships at Facebook in a news release.
As the Source newsroom has continued to innovate in order to bring important news to readers throughout the pandemic, its readers have in turn supported the publication in new and innovative ways.
In addition to these grant funds, the Source’s reader-supported membership program, Source Insider, has gained 270+ new member-supporters since early March. Find out more about becoming a Source Insider at the Source Insider web page.