Facebook’s new journalism initiative puts spotlight on local news

Facebook announced a new journalism initiative this week aimed at strengthening its ties with the news industry. The Facebook Journalism Project, as it’s called, will focus on better product collaboration and improved training, among other things.

The social media giant has long partnered with large news organizations, such as The New York Times, on such efforts. Now, as part of this new program, Facebook says it will give that same kind of attention to local journalists and smaller news outlets.

The Center for Cooperative Media will be one of the organizations working with Facebook and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to improve communication with local journalists, and to help give local newsrooms the kind of access to Facebook that they haven’t had before.

“We will help connect Facebook’s engineers, product developers and news partnerships team with our extensive network of local news leaders and organizations,” Jennifer Preston, vice president for journalism at Knight, wrote in a blog post this week that details the foundation’s support for the project. “The goal is to help them use this extraordinarily powerful platform to inform and engage people in cities and towns, big and small.”

Other groups involved in this push to connect with local news organizations so far include the Institute for Nonprofit News, the Local Independent Online News Publishers association and the Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

There are many more details to come as we work out how we’ll help move this project forward. If you’re with a local news organization and want to be involved, let me know — we’ll do our best to help coordinate. Email me at murrayst@montclair.edu.

Stefanie Murray is director of the Center for Cooperative Media. 

About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. The Center is supported with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Democracy Fund. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. For more information, visit CenterforCooperativeMedia.org.

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