9:33pm PT by Scott Feinberg
HFPA Bestows $25,000 Grant to L.A. Press Club for Journalists Affected by Coronavirus
Southern California journalists in need of financial assistance as a result of the coronavirus pandemic are being offered a helping hand by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group of roughly 100 L.A.-area journalists for international media outlets that is best known for hosting the annual Golden Globe Awards.
The HFPA issued an immediate grant of $25,000, with the possibility of contributing additional funds up to $100,000, to the nonprofit Los Angeles Press Club, the two organizations announced Thursday. (Editor's note: Scott Feinberg serves on the L.A. Press Club's board.)
Donations from the HFPA will go into an Emergency Fund, the disbursement of which will be presided over by a subcommittee of the L.A. Press Club board chaired by Robert Kovacik, a veteran on-air reporter at KNBC. Others are welcome to contribute to the fund, as well — all donations are fully tax-deductible.
"The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has long been committed to giving back to the community," said Lorenzo Soria, president of the HFPA, in a statement. "The pandemic has greatly impacted our industry and we wanted to provide aid to fellow journalists in these difficult and uncertain times."
"So many of our colleagues are on the front lines covering the coronavirus pandemic trying to keep you — and themselves — safe," Kovacik, a past president of the L.A. Press Club, added. "Other journalists are reeling from the economic impact — pay cuts, reduced hours, loss of jobs and the realization some jobs may not be coming back soon. We are very grateful to our friends at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association who reached out to us with the willingness to help journalists who may be struggling during this difficult time.”
The HFPA has requested a monthly report about the Fund "summarizing the amounts disbursed for individual financial assistance, the number of individuals assisted and the remaining amount of the HFPA's grant to be disbursed," on the basis of which it will determine whether to make additional contributions. The HFPA also asks to be notified if the Fund dips below $5,000 at any time.
Both the HFPA and the L.A. Press Club emphasize that the names of individuals who request relief will not be shared outside of the L.A. Press Club's subcommittee. Applications are now available at http://lapressclub.org/.