The News Media Alliance and Digital Content Next released a statement April 3 calling on digital advertisers and digital advertising companies to stop using keyword blocking practices that “jeopardize the sustainability of high-quality journalism during this critical time.” While many advertisers have decreased or ceased their spending on digital advertising altogether due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, others are using keywords to block their ads from appearing on COVID-19-related content, the organizations say.

“News organizations are working tirelessly to provide reliable and trustworthy information to their communities; a life-saving service at this unprecedented time. Keyword blocking serves to punish publishers for this very same coverage, with potentially catastrophic effects,” said Alliance President and CEO David Chavern.

“At the same time newsrooms have necessarily shifted coverage towards informing the public on this global pandemic, immature tech platforms are blocking the funding of this journalism. We repeat our call for the advertising technology and verification platforms, including Google and Oracle, which have a strong history of reducing friction, to dedicate urgent resources towards solutions here, including exempting or encouraging trusted news organizations as a default,” said Digital Content Next President and CEO Jason Kint.

The News Media Alliance is providing a page of links with information for publishers about the stimulus package, CARES Act, small business loans and more. The Alliance says it will continue to update the page as more resources become available.


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