Facebook to invest $300 million in local journalism

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"We heard one consistent answer: people want more local news, and local newsrooms are looking for more support".

Most importantly, the cash could help to keep local news alive.

"We're going to continue fighting fake news, misinformation, and low-quality news on Facebook", said Campbell Brown, Facebook's vice president of global news partnerships.

Facebook has pledged to invest $300m in United States local news over the next three years as the social platform seeks to buy its way out of criticism that it has had a malign impact on news publishers.

Facebook has also committed $2 million to an initiative to place 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms across America over the next five years.

But Facebook says it has an eye on both the short and longterm future for local news orgs.

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Facebook said the funding will help boost resources for local journalists, including research on how to use technology to improve news gathering and foster new products for dissemination.

However, even though Facebook is aware of the issues, and deletes many of those accounts it finds responsible, it has so far been unable to stamp out bad actors completely and in November revealed it had removed more than 1.5 billion fake accounts in the six month period starting June.

Facebook also said it giving $6 million to the British-based Community News Project, which partners with regional news organizations and the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

Some of the money will go to groups that work directly with local newsrooms, like the nonprofit Pulitzer Center and Report for America. Among the components is a Pulitzer Centre - a $5 million endowment gift to launch "Bringing Stories Home", a gift that will provide local newsrooms across the U.S. with reporting grants to foster coverage on topics that affect local communities. "Facebook is making this investment to help support local media companies. open up new revenue streams that will support local journalism", she said.

Facebook said it will also expand its "Accelerator pilot", a program started a year ago to help local news media stay afloat by getting more subscriptions and memberships.

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