Why is Facebook investing millions of dollars in USA and worldwide local news? The social platform tries to improve news publishers after it was criticized that it negatively impacts journalism as it’s making money from news content without paying.
They aim to support local news with more tools to gather news and help them “build sustainable business models” to grow and thrive. Facebook stated that this year they would focus on “monetization and funding models, news distribution and the local news ecosystem” by training journalists to work at their local newspaper and report more from the towns that no longer have local media.
Paying For News Content By Investing in Better News, Local Newsrooms and New Community Journalists
So far, Facebook has had a partnership with AFP and has also funded fact-checking projects from around the world:
Last year, we worked to better understand what kind of news people want to see on Facebook. But nothing is going to make that much difference unless Facebook and Google pay for the content they are displaying.
Facebook also reported that they had removed more than 1.5 billion fake accounts in six months last year.
Here are some of the initiatives from Facebook this year, according to Variety:
1. Facebook will invest “$20 million to expand the Accelerator program worldwide, including in Europe.” It will help local newsrooms with models for membership and subscription.
2. The Pulitzer Center will receive $5 million endowments to launch “Bringing Stories Home.” It will help reporters cover topics from local communities.
3. Report for America gets $2 million to hire 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms in America for the next five years.
4. Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund will get $1 million to improve tech in U.S. newsrooms for gathering news, new business models and product development.
5. The Local Media Association (LMA) and Local Media Consortium (LMC) will get $1 million to help over “2,000 local member newsrooms generate revenue through branded content on Facebook and other platforms.”
6. The Community News Project gets a $6 million project in the U.K to recruit new community journalists and hire them in local newsrooms throughout two years.
Jeff Wilkinson is a Senior Politics Reporter at Debate Report covering provincial and national politics, . Before joining Debate Report, Jeff worked on several provincial campaigns including Jack Layton. Jeff has worked as a freelance journalist in Toronto, having been published by over 20 outlets including CBC, the Center for Media and VICE.com.