Hundreds or even thousands of pieces of news about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic appear every day, and sometimes it is hard not to get lost in this information “whirl.” Adequate and high-quality coverage of what is happening in the world at this difficult time is crucial. Accurate reporting helps reduce the spread of misinformation and fake news about COVID-19.
To support news journalism, Facebook announced a decision to invest $100 million in the news industry through the Facebook Journalism Project that works with publishers around the globe to connect journalists with the communities they serve.
The tech giant is planning to invest $100 million that will come in addition to $300 million the company has already committed to spending on various news programs and partnerships around the world at the beginning of last year.
Facebook will grant $25 million to select local news organizations, and the rest of the sum, which is $75 million, will go to news agencies as “additional marketing spend.”
“If people needed more proof that local journalism is a vital public service, they're getting it now. And while almost all businesses are facing adverse financial effects from this crisis, we recognize we're in a more privileged position than most, and we want to help,” said the company in a press release.
The first round of Facebook’s grants went to 50 local newsrooms in Canada and the USA. Each of them received $5,000 to cover “unexpected costs.”
Direct funding will help support publishers from countries that were hit the most. These efforts will help news organizations survive during the pandemic and will also let them spread critical information that can keep people safe.