Facebook enters the news desert battle, trying to find enough local news for its Today In feature

Credit: NiemanLab- Published on March 18, 2019
News deserts are at the core of journalism’s crisis today — the communities left behind as news organizations hamstrung by declining ad revenues focus more on the country’s coastal, wealthy, metropolitan areas. Facebook — the server of information to two-thirds of American adults, powered by digital advertising — thinks...
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Credit: Wibbitz Studio
Published on March 20, 2019 -  01:35
Facebook Wants to Share More Local News but Is Having Trouble Finding It
Facebook Wants to Share More Local News but Is Having Trouble Finding It Facebook technicians are facing difficulties with their ‘Today In’ service because of an inability to find reporting on a local level. The service was launched in 2018 and is available in 400 cities in the United States. It collects news stories from local outlets, community groups and government. 40% of Americans live in places where there isn’t enough local news to support the service. In the last 15 years, over 1,800 newspapers have closed in the U.S. Newsroom employment has declined by 45%, partly because of the rise in online reporting. Anne Kornblut, director of news initiatives at Facebook, says the company will offer financial support, rather than take direct action. Anne Kornblut, via NBC News Facebook plans to award 100 grants, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, to individuals that pose a solution to this issue. In January, they also announced a plan to give $300 million in grants to help programs and partnerships focused on boosting local news.

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