With the ongoing pandemic, high-quality and accurate news reporting is imperative. However, the pandemic has prompted a sharp decline in the advertising spend since the companies are slashing marketing budgets amidst financial uncertainty.
Approximately 70% of total buyers have already adjusted their plans. This fall in revenue comes at a time when accurate and precise journalism is needed more than ever.
Hence, Facebook, on top of the $300 million it dedicated to news programs, partnerships, and content at the beginning of 2019, has pledged to invest $100 million in the news industry.
Out of this amount, $25 million will be provided in grant funding for local news via the Facebook journalism project. The remaining $75 million will be sent in the form of ‘additional marketing spend’ to the worldwide organizations.
In a press release, Facebook stated:
If people needed more proof that local journalism is a vital public service, they’re getting it now.
The social media platform is trying its best to curb the spread of misinformation through Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. However, this has put a lot of strain on its moderation terms. Many fact-checking organizations had to scale back on routine content, to deal with the massive spread of misinformation, which is why Facebook has decided to help publishers with grants.
Nancy Lane, chief executive of US trade body Local Media Association, said:
This money will not only help keep journalists reporting right now amidst the crisis, but the funding will also fuel opportunities for local media to accelerate the business transformation toward a more sustainable digital footing.