Facebook Announces $100 Million Grant To Publishers In Response To COVID-19

It might sound a bit unusual and very surprising but I would start off by admitting that Facebook has finally been acting very responsible throughout this time of global crisis. And hence, moving forward with their kind endeavors, the social media giant has now announced to invest $100 million in the news industry, all with the intention to make more accurate reporting possible.

Facebook is planning to make their initiative possible first with $25 million offered as a grant funding for local news with Facebook Journalism Project and then the remaining $75 million will be made available to the news organizations worldwide as “additional marketing spend”.

Just like the other businesses, publishers have also been affected badly by the coronavirus outbreak. Hence, in response to the hit the only option that publishers are left with is of squeezing the marketing budgets to cop up with the financial uncertainty that is about to come.

This decline has also been reported by the research firm eMarketer as they have lowered the growth predictions for worldwide media ad spend by 3 percent. Reuters on the other hand too have stated that the virus might result in a loss of billions of dollars for the advertising industry.

Amidst all the panic, stopping misinformation to spread around online is also important. Facebook realizes this need and therefore the move was made to let local journalism appear as an important public service, even though Facebook will also ease up the pressure on its moderation team that has been working hard to remove any piece of the wrong information on the platform.

Facebook will provide more of its grant to the publishers that belong to the countries which have been most affected by the disease. The first series of the grant has begun with Facebook giving $5,000 to 50 local newsrooms across the US and Canada.

The $100 million grant stands as separate to the $300 million that Facebook had already pledged to spend on news, programs, partnerships, and content over the span of the next three years after announcing it at the start of 2019. Zuckerberg and his team was also going well in launching a program to let local news organization promote digital subscriptions and when the company also took the initiative to spend £4.5 million on training journalists from the UK.

Despite the reduction in online spending by businesses, Facebook is still enjoying a huge surge in its services like private messaging and video calling in the times of self-isolation.

Read next: Facebook's New Initiative 'Get Digital', A New Education Resource For Kids And Parents
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