Facebook on Wednesday launched a journalism project to help those who gather news.
“At Facebook, our mission is to connect the world, including connecting people with the information they want and need,” the company stated in a post on its site. “That’s why we place such value on journalism.”
The initiative comes at a time when the news media is besieged on multiple fronts. Advertising revenue has plunged, circulation has slumped and critics suggest that some media outlets have propagated “fake news.”
Facebook has also been criticized for its role in disseminating fake news, and has promised to fight it.
“The Facebook Journalism Project is designed to support journalism and news literacy, and to serve as a hub for journalists and publishers to learn and share,” Facebook stated in the post.
Menlo Park-based Facebook intends to work with news agencies to develop news products, bolster local news, develop profit centers with news partners, advance new training initiatives for journalists, promote news literacy and curb news hoaxes, the social media company said.
The social network also said it intends to visit newsrooms on a regular basis and stage hackathons, during which the company will meet with developers from news organizations and fashion fresh solutions.’
“We’ll begin an even deeper collaboration with news organizations across the spectrum, connecting our product and engineering teams so that we can build together from the early stages of the product development process,” Fidji Simo, director of product with Facebook, wrote.
The tech titan also said it plans to use an existing service called Instant Articles to help bolster dissemination of news stories. Starting this week, the tech company intends to begin testing a function in Instant Articles that enables people to see multiple articles at the same time from their favorite news organizations.
The company will also focus on local news.
“Local news is the starting place for great journalism. It brings communities together around issues that are closest to home,” Facebook said on its site. “We’re interested in exploring what we can build together with our partners to support local news and promote independent media.”
The company said the Facebook Journalism Project page will be the nexus of its new storytelling initiatives.
“This is just the beginning of our effort,” Facebook said. “We have much more to do.”
Above: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Credit – Getty Images