Facebook to spend $ 5 million to pay local journalists to join its news platform
Facebook says it will spend $ 5 million to pay local journalists on a new publishing platform. Reuters the news reported on Thursday, saying independent journalists could start applying for the program today. The company prioritizes journalists in areas without an existing news source – sometimes called “information deserts” – that plan to cover “black, indigenous, Latin, Asian or other colored audiences”.
Facebook announced its news platform last month. The platform includes a self-publishing tool that allows journalists to launch newsletters and charge for subscriptions, as well as integration with existing features like Facebook Pages and Groups. Reuters reports that Facebook will enter into multi-year agreements with selected journalists, who can earn more money from subscriptions.
In a statement, Facebook described local news as part of a larger self-publishing strategy. “We are launching a platform to help freelance writers, experts, journalists and authoritative voices reach new audiences on Facebook,” said a spokesperson. The edge. “As part of our commitment to include local writers at launch, today we are opening an app for American writers creating public service journalism in their communities looking to access this new platform and services. that we are proposing to create an independent business. . “
Facebook also competes with other self-publishing platforms, in particular newsletter provider Substack. Substack launched a million-dollar initiative called Substack Local in mid-April, saying it would select up to 30 local journalists to receive one-year advances of up to $ 100,000. (Like senior Substack Pro editors, these journalists will forgo most of their subscription income for this year.) Applications for Substack Local are closed today.
Facebook announced a $ 5 million investment in local news last year. He also paid national news outlets to post content on his social network. But with this effort, it’s about building something closer to an internal news platform, rather than working with big media that have an often ambivalent relationship with the company.
Update April 29 at 3 p.m. ET: Added a statement from Facebook.