Designed to promote news/media literacy, Facebook has announced the launch of their journalism project. One of the main objectives of the project will be to strengthen the ties Facebook currently shares with media groups and organizations throughout the world. Additional objectives include the ability to promote new products, while also striving to promote only trusted, consistent news sources.
Breaking Down Facebook’s Journalism Project The project
certainly imagines a bold future that involves FB engineers working alongside news outlets to create new ways to relaying news and information. Simultaneously, the project will strive to look for new models for both advertising and subscription. While also aiming to promote and nurture the crucial concept of “news literacy”, Facebook also hopes that this new initiative will go a long way towards in supporting local news.
Dave Merrell, who is the lead project manager at the Washington Post, notes that this is the first time news organizations are working with Facebook at the product development stage.
The project will have connections to Instant Articles, the Facebook feature that launched in 2015. This feature is capable of hosting and displaying news items directly, rather than moving users to specific news websites. These stories load faster than the ones from outside sources. Unfortunately, Instant Articles make it difficult for these publishers to understand/connect with their audience in such a way as to understand their habits and send them stories and videos that might prove to be of interest to them. Facebook plans to address this by offering readers the ability to see multiple stories from the same source.
It is also suspected that Facebook will work to improve the algorithms that recommend stories. To date, these stories tend to come from unverified news sources.
All of this work comes in light of a recent report that indicates more than forty percent of individuals on Facebook get their news from the social media giant. These efforts also come after Facebook made it clear that they were going to take greater, more aggressive steps to calm the wave of fake news articles. This includes making it easier for users to report fake stories. There is no doubt that the concept of fake news and its influence will continue to be a major story in 2017 and beyond.