Facebook to invest US$300 million in local journalism

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NEW YORK: announced Tuesday that it will invest US$300 over three years in various projects related to , 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 organizations 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 US$5 million endowment to 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 giving US$6 million to the British-based Community News Project, which partners with regional news organizations 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 United States in 2018 to help local newsrooms with subscription and membership models.

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

The move by Facebook follows the Google News Initiative unveiled last year by the US internet search giant.

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