[1/11/17] Facebook is trying to improve relations with skeptical newsrooms by making several investments in journalism tools, training, and news literacy.
On Wednesday the company announced a new umbrella for its initiatives, called the “Facebook Journalism Project,” with three different parts.
In some cases Facebook is promoting what it already does and expanding the efforts. In other cases it is setting up new partnerships with news organizations and advocacy groups. One of them is the News Literacy Project.
The overarching message is that the social media giant wants to be a friend, not a foe, of cash-strapped news organizations.
“We’re investing a lot of time,” said Patrick Walker, the head of media partnerships for Facebook in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Facebook staffers have forged relationships with media companies for many years. Last week the company hired a high-level liasion to the news business, former CNN and NBC anchor Campbell Brown.
What’s different now? At a panel discussion in London on Wednesday, Walker said “we’re trying to get deeper at collaborating” with news outlets.
One example, announced Wednesday, involves linking Facebook engineers with their counterparts in newsrooms.
The idea is that “we can build together from the early stages of the product development process,” Fidji Simo, Facebook’s director of product for media, said in a blog post.