Facebook to make $100m available to local publishers around the world

Facebook is offer $100m to local news organisations globally to help them survive the Coronavirus pandemic.

The social media giant says $25m will be spent on targeted grants for newsrooms to assist with local news coverage of the pandemic, with another $75m in marketing for news organisations around the world.

It is not yet known how the money will be allocated, either globally or within countries.

“If people needed more proof that local journalism is a vital public service, they’re getting it now,” said Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president of global news partnerships, in a blog post. “And while almost all businesses are facing adverse financial effects from this crisis, we recognise we’re in a more privileged position than most, and we want to help.”

Campbell added that the $75m in additional marketing spend would be used to ‘move money over to news organisations around the world.’

Earlier this month, Facebook announced a range of grants up to $5,000 for US and Canadian publishers to help local news organisations cover the crisis in more detail.

Yesterday’s announcement is one of a myriad of projects being launched by the social media giant as it seeks to play its part in the global response to Coronavirus.

Also yesterday, it has launched the Messenger Coronavirus community Hub with tips and resources to keep people connected to their friends, family, colleagues and community, and prevent the spread of misinformation.

Facebook has also announced a digital literacy program, Get Digital, to provide lessons and resources to help young people develop the competencies and skills they need to more safely navigate the internet. These resources are designed to be used by educators and families both in the classroom and at home, but they’ve become even more important as young people spend more time on their devices while at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

A Coronavirus information centre has also been launched on Facebook while the company has also been supporting fact checkers, and worked with the World Health Organisation to launch an alert service for the WHO on WhatsApp.

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