Facebook announced a new project today that will focus on the collaborative development of news products along with training and tools for journalists and the public.
Program to establish stronger ties between Facebook
and the news industry…
Local news in particular will be a major focus of the Facebook Journalism Project. “Local news is the starting place for great journalism – it brings communities together around issues that are closest to home,” said Director of Product Fidji Simo, in the release, “We’re interested in exploring what we can build together with our partners to support local news and promote independent media. This initiative is in its earliest stages; we want to talk about it now so that we can get as much input from newsrooms and journalists as possible, working together to shape what local news on Facebook could look like.”
The Local Media Association has been working with the Facebook news partnership team for 6 months now to share industry concerns and work on mutually beneficial partnership terms.
The LMA board of directors had a private meeting with Jason White, head of news partnerships in the U.S., in September that resulted in the creation of an industry committee to work more closely with Jason and his team. The committee, led by Tom Sly from E.W. Scripps, includes representatives from Nexstar, McClatchy, Sinclair, Tribune, Deseret Digital, Digital First Media, GateHouse and more. The group conducted their first meeting in December with the Facebook news partnership team in New York City. It was a very productive meeting with a lot of positive outcomes.
“We are excited about the creation of the Facebook Journalism Project,” said Local Media Association President Nancy Lane
. “Our committee is eager to work on collaborative news products with the team at Facebook. We especially like the focus on local news. This work is important to the mission at LMA and will be a top priority for our organization going forward.”
LMA Chairman of the Board Gordon Borrell added, “Local newspapers, TV, and radio have much to offer in terms of content and marketing, and they’re deeply interwoven in their communities. It’s heartening to see a relationship between Facebook and local media companies being cultivated. It strengthens both parties.