Facebook has announced details of a new Journalism Project, as it seeks to “establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry”.
The Facebook Journalism Project was unveiled in a blog post by director of product Fidji Simo. It will involve Facebook collaborating with news organisations to develop new products, learning from journalists and working with publishers to “equip people with the knowledge they need to be informed readers in the digital age”.
Facebook said it is developing new storytelling formats, such as being able to view multiple articles from one news organisation in one package, and will aim to “support local news and promote independent media”.
It said it will offernew training tools for journalists, including e-learning courses and a certificate curriculum for journalists, in association with non-profit US journalism training body Poynter.
Facebook said it is also expanding its commitments to the First Draft Partner Network, a coalition of platforms and publishers that work together to provide guidance in how to verify content sourced from social media.
Facebook has been criticised in recent months for failing to taking effective action to stop the proliferation of ‘fake news’.
The website announced in December that users would soon be able to flag up when they believe a story is a hoax, which could result in them being sent to “third-party fact checking organisations” for review, and being labelled as disputed.
The platform has also come under fire for taking advertising revenue away from traditional journalism organisations. In December, it was reported that Google and Facebook currently account for half the UK online display advertising market, and will up this stake to two-thirds by 2020.
Speaking at the time, News Media Association Vice-Chairman David Dinsmore said that “urgent action” needed to be taken so that local news organisations were not “fatally undermined by third parties who gain so much from our investment while contributing very little.”
In November, Google announced funding for 124 innovative digital news projects across Europe as part of their €150m three-year Digital News Initiative. UK regional newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror reportedly received a grant of up to €1m.