Facebook Donates $5.8M To 80 Local Newspapers

One of the largest social media channel Facebook is now donating $5.8 Million to train the journalists in Britain to support up against the communities which have lost local newspapers and reporters, in no little part due to ad revenue and readers switching online to the social media giant.

The US company revealed yesterday that it had recognized the role it played in how people got their news today and it wanted to do more to support the local publishers.

More than 80 new trainees funded by the Facebook will be going to be recruited by the Newsquest, Reach, JPIMedia, Archant and the Midland News Association, in a scheme overseen by the National Council for the Training of Journalists, the Facebook revealed.

Some of the 228 local newspapers which are folded in Britain between 2005 and 2017, according to the Press-Gazette. Many of them closed by the publishers is involved in the Facebook scheme. The publishers have blamed this on the shift from the print to online, and the loss of the advertising revenue to the platforms like Google and Facebook.

“We hear all the time from our communities that that's what they want to read on our platform, it informs communities, and it had a significant role to play in holding institutions and councils to account,” she said. Facebook head of news partnership Nick Wrenn said that Facebook was looking at different ways to collaborate with an industry with which it had not always seen eye to eye.

“We are trying to do work out what different sustainable longer-term changes and models might look like,” he said. “We are open to working with any organization where we have a clear opportunity,” Archant's content director Laura Adams said.

The NCTJ also said its experience of working with Facebook had been positive. “The view that I have is Facebook is sincere in its hope that this scheme will lead to the creation of more relevant, timely local news,” said NCTJ's chief executive Joanne Butcher.

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