A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed stock graph in this illustration. Picture: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC
A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed stock graph in this illustration. Picture: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC

Facebook announced on Tuesday that it would invest $300m over three years in journalism projects, especially to promote local news, which has been hit hard in the digital age.

The move comes with online platforms under pressure for dominating the internet advertising ecosystem, making it harder for news organisations to make a transition to digital.

“People want more local news, and local newsrooms are looking for more support,” Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice-president in charge of global news partnerships, said in a blog post.

“That’s why today we’re announcing an expanded effort around local news in the years ahead.”

The initiative includes a $5m endowment for the Pulitzer Center to launch “Bringing Stories Home”, which will foster coverage on topics that affect local communities — funding at least 12 local in-depth, multimedia reporting projects each year.

Facebook also said it was giving $6m to the British-based Community News Project, which partners with regional news organisations including Reach, Newsquest, JPI, Archant, Midland News Association and the National Council for the Training of Journalists to recruit trainee community journalists.

The huge social network said it was expanding its Accelerator pilot, which launched in the US in 2018 to help local newsrooms with subscription and membership models.

Facebook said it would invest more than $20m to continue the initiative in the US and to expand globally, including in Europe.

The move by Facebook follows the Google News Initiative unveiled in 2018 by the US internet search giant.
AFP