The social media giant is putting up a $25M emergency relief fund for local news through its Facebook Journalism Project, and is placing a further $75M in additional marketing spend with news organizations around the world.
Campbell Brown, the company’s VP Global News Partnerships, announced the news in an online post.
“Through the COVID-19 Community Network grant program, direct funding is helping journalists cover important stories when we all need them most,” she wrote. “We’re building on this work and will direct a portion of these funds to publishers most in need in the hardest hit countries.”
The first round of grants will go to 50 local newsrooms across the U.S. and Canada.
“Local news organizations, especially hyper-local news organizations including those serving black and other underserved communities, have experienced challenges with the sustainability and distribution of news and information in the current media environment. COVID-19 has exacerbated an already existing crisis and our jobs have just gotten tougher. With such a sizable infusion from Facebook, local news organizations across the country will benefit as will our readers, our viewers and our listeners,” said Janis Ware, publisher of The Atlanta Voice, which is benefiting from a grant.
“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,” the Facebook post read.
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