Facebook announces new journalism project to help media 'thrive'

Facebook announces new journalism project to help media 'thrive'
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Facebook announced the rollout of its new “Journalism Project” on Wednesday in an attempt to “establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry.”

The project will focus on several core areas: developing new products, offering new training and tools for journalists, and providing new tools to enable the public to help stop "fake news."

“We will be collaborating with news organizations to develop products, learning from journalists about ways we can be a better partner, and working with publishers and educators on how we can equip people with the knowledge they need to be informed readers in the digital age,” the company wrote in a blog post.


In its post, Facebook said it was looking to support emerging subscription models in journalism, offer improved promotion of local news, and facilitate different storytelling methods on its platform. The company also said it would offer training to journalists on its various platforms such as analytics tool CrowdTangle and Facebook Live.

The new initiative comes after a year of scrutiny over Facebook’s role in journalism and media. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has downplayed Facebook’s role as a media company. The company took criticism after the rise of "fake news" articles on the platform, which disseminated false and hoax news stories at volumes that in at least some cases exceeded real news on Facebook.  

In response to the spread of bogus news stories on the platform, the company said it will also invest in initiatives to promote media literacy.

Media organizations, some of which have been critical of Facebook, are also largely reliant on the platform as a major distributor of their stories.

The social media company has made a significant push to reach out to journalists in 2016 and the start of 2017. At the end of last year it rolled out new tools to mitigate the spread of "fake news" on its site. The company just announced its hiring of longtime TV anchor Campbell Brown to lead its news partnerships team to foster stronger relationships with journalists.