Facebook Journalism Project Aims To Strengthen Crucial Bond With News Media

This past November, Mark Zuckerberg stated that Facebook would be working with journalists in order to improve its news content. The social media site has finally revealed exactly how it plans to work with journalists. Facebook has introduced the “Facebook Journalism Project”, which is intended to strengthen its ties with the news industry.

The Facebook Journalism Project is comprised of three steps. First, Facebook plans to collaborate more on news products and with news organizations. It would like to evolve its current storytelling formats to suit the needs of news partners. Facebook is endeavoring to collaborate with local news sources and emerging business models. It also plan to launch a global “hackathon” program.

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Second, Facebook is working on providing training and tools for journalists. It is conducting a series of e-learning courses on Facebook products, tools and services for journalists. It has also enabled Page administrators to designate specific journalists as contributors so that they may see how their public videos are performing. Facebook has also acquired CrowdTangle, “a tool to surface stories, measure their social performance and identify influencers”. Facebook plans to work with members of the First Draft Partner Network to provide ethical guidelines on how to find, verify and publish content sourced from the social media site.

Last but not least, Facebook plans to provide training and tools for “everyone”. It hopes to promote news literacy through third-party organizations like the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Facebook is creating PSA’s alongside the News Literacy Project. It has launched new efforts to curb fake news as well, such as third-party fact checking.

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Facebook’s Trending Stories team was accused this year of suppressing politically conservative news stories. The entire Trending Stories editorial staff was fired and replaced with an algorithm. The algorithm, however, replaced the “biased stories” with fake news stories that repeatedly cropped up in the Trending Stories section. The Facebook Journalism Project has been launched in response to this criticism Facebook faced in 2016.