Facebook will invest $300 million over three years in local news globally as it faces blistering criticism over its role in the erosion of the news business worldwide, Reuters reported.
The investment in time and money represents a significant expansion of a plan to help newsrooms in the U.S. and abroad create and sustain viable business models to survive, the company stated.
According to Reuters, earlier rounds of investments in the news business were designed to encourage publishers to rely on delivering its products over Facebook, which eventually hurt many news organizations when Facebook’s strategies changed.
“We’re going to continue fighting fake news, misinformation, and low quality news on Facebook. But we also have an opportunity, and a responsibility, to help local news organizations grow and thrive,” Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president of Global News Partnerships, said in a statement.
The company has been slammed by critics for its role in providing a platform for hate speech, misinformation and political meddling.
The first round of investments in the U.S. will help bolster resources for local reporting, help research how to use technology to improve news gathering and create new products, recruit “trainee community journalists” and place them in local newsrooms and also help fund a program modeled after the Peace Corp, which will place 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms over five years.
The recipients of the investments include the Pulitzer Center, Report for America, Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund, the Local Media Association and Local Media Consortium, the American Journalism Project and the Community News Project.