Bloom Labs Receives Funding from Google to Assess Geographic Diversity of News in SF Bay Area

December 15, 2020


SAN JOSE, CA — Bloom Labs will collaborate with six local newsrooms serving communities in the San Francisco Bay Area as a part of the newly formed group Bay Area News Collective, funded by the Google GNI Innovation Challenge. The Collective will engage in a year-long mission to assess inequities in the geographic diversity and density of local news in the California region. The group will focus on bridging each other’s coverage and resources to improve engagement and revenue in underrepresented communities. Among the participating newsrooms, there are three non-profits and three for-profits of various sizes, including The Mercury News, East Bay Times, San Jose Spotlight, Bay City News, Marin Independent Journal, and KQED.

The Collective is influenced by the first GNI Innovation Challenge that took place earlier in 2020 when Bloom Labs collaborated with three newsrooms to provide location-oriented tools for their Bay Area coverage. The new project will expand those efforts with more newsrooms while focusing specifically on research and development with underrepresented communities. Throughout 2021, the project’s team will conduct news story geotagging, location data analysis, and community research to leverage local insight and design equitable reading experiences. Bloom Labs will make tools accessible for newsrooms in a way that encourages collective assessment, design, and implementation of solutions that address problematic gaps and overlaps in news coverage. The project will document how the resulting collaborative strategies influence the perception and value of engagement, subscriptions, and partnerships.

“Bloom Labs is thrilled to collaborate with these newsrooms and expand our efforts to explore how location technology can be impactful for journalism and local communities.”

Stephen Jefferson, Project Manager, and Founder and CEO of Bloom Labs

Bay Area News Collective is receiving funding from the second GNI Innovation Challenge in North America, whose “Sustainability through Diversity” theme reflects its current focus on news diversity, equity, and inclusion. Google is supporting multiple projects in this Challenge that focus on creating sustainable models for local news publishers who desire to address their diverse audiences or to better understand the communities they serve.

The project will run for one year between December 2020 to November 2021. The team plans to publish regular updates about the project’s progress at and on Twitter at @bloomfornews.



Updates about the technology and research that makes Bloom Labs an innovative tool for journalism.

Read and Subscribe