RALEIGH — WRAL Digital and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Daily Tarheel are among 10 local newsrooms in North Carolina to be selected by the Facebook Journalism Project for grants aimed at supporting COVID-19 news reporting.
In total, the tech giant along with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and the Local Media Association (LMA), awarded 350 grants to help fill immediate gaps for resource-constrained newsrooms such as remote work, increasing frequency of publishing, combating misinformation and serving vulnerable and at-risk groups.
The Facebook Journalism Project doubled the total grant pool to $2 million after more than 200 publishers applied in the first 48 hours after the application launched. North Carolina received $50,000 in funding, with each recipient getting $5,000.
The WRAL Digital grant is being used to translate COVID-19 resources into Spanish. The resources include answers to frequently asked questions, unemployment application instructions and stay-at-home order details.
“Our biggest coverage constraints when it comes to COVID-19 coverage are time and people,” said John Conway, vice president of WRAL Digital. “The Facebook grant allows us to get important, life-saving information to North Carolina’s significant Latino population.”
Other North Carolina media outlets to receive the grants include Carolina Public Press, Enlace Latino NC, La Noticia, qnotes, Queen City Nerve, Scalawag, Smoky Mountain News and WFAE 90.7.
“More recipients [will] be announced in the coming weeks,” Facebook said in its release. “Access to trustworthy, accurate, and local information is critical now more than ever in our state.
This is a part of Facebook’s broader effort to provide support around COVID-19, including a separate $1 million in grants to support fact checkers and a recently announced additional $25 million in relief grants. Applications for these grants opens on Monday, April 13.