As fake news continues to make headlines, Facebook has announced its Facebook Journalism Project, or what it called “a new program [that seeks] to establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry.”
According to a blog post by Fidji Simo, director of product at the Facebook Journalism Project, the platform will collaborate with news organizations to develop products, learn from journalists and work with publishers and educators “on how we can equip people with the knowledge they need to be informed readers in the digital age.”
Facebook said the news products will include new storytelling formats, such as packages of stories, to help users be more informed and it is also exploring “what we can build together with our partners to support local news and promote independent media.”
In addition, Facebook said it has begun exploring ways to help its partners grow their “subscription funnels,” including free trials to users from within Instant Articles.
In the post, Simo said Facebook is also conducting a series of e-learning courses on Facebook products, tools and services for journalists and is partnering with non-profit journalism school Poynter to launch a certificate curriculum for journalists. Facebook will also provide training for local newsrooms via collaborations with Knight Foundation, Detroit Journalism Cooperative, Institute for NonProfit News, Local Independent News Online, Institute for Journalism in New Media and Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media.
In addition, Facebook said it is a member of the First Draft Partner Network and will help the organization establish a virtual verification community. It also works with third parties, such as the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and the News Literacy Project, “on how to better understand and to promote news literacy both on and off our platform to help people in our community have the information they need to make decisions about which sources to trust."