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Facebook to Invest $300m in Supporting Local News (facebook.com)
102 points by atlasunshrugged 38 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 96 comments



> Last year, we worked to better understand what kind of news people want to see on Facebook.

This opening line is just all wrong. News isn't about 'what you want to see', writing news to garner clicks is basically another way of saying 'our news reporting is fundamentally biased'.

Real journalism isn't entertainment. But, I get it, real journalism doesn't sell, people don't have time to understand world problems, don't care much about corruption unless it's dramatic, don't care about plain boring facts.

Facebook understands that in order to own a market they have to spoon-feed it what it wants. Curate an audience of idle minds and feed them what they measurably want.

This play to 'local news' is simply a tool to advance their own agenda, they want to own local news and help you feel that FB is all warm and 'local' to your needs.

Your 'local' world-view, sponsored by Facebook. It's kind of sick really.


"what kind of news people want to see" discussions takes place in news rooms, editing rooms, and journalism schools around the world. There isn't some all-encompassing "journalism" cabal who are only dedicated to reporting all the news that ever happens without bias.

This only exists in the minds of people who've never seen news and reporting get made.

These decisions are made every day by the editors-in-chief and publishers of large multinational news conglomerates, and this ultimately makes these positions very powerful. It's why Rupert Murdoch owns so many news/media properties and why people say the Fox news network is biased.


This happens consistently even well-respected independent news orgs.

The editors at the NYT are famous for being more 'active' than at smaller newspapers - instead of assigning beats and checking submissions they request specific pieces and plan narratives that encompass multiple pieces. It doesn't mean their output is dishonest or even necessarily misleading, but it certainly affects what stories get covered and how.

For that matter, one of the things I value about ProPublica is that their narrative-building is unusually open - they organize by topic instead of newspaper-style sections and publish meta pieces on how they choose and research their stories. When the topic is something like 'algorithmic bias', it's far more forthright to say "we went looking fo examples and here are some we found" than to run pieces in isolation and imply whatever company is under discussion is uniquely villainous.

There are things to object to about Facebook's move here, but I'm deeply frustrated by this idea that objective journalism is some relic of the pre-internet days. News of all sorts gets made for people, by people. Without recognizing that, we just get these bland calls for 'real journalism' that don't help us look at specifics like the dangers of conglomerates or the negative incentives of monetizing on views or clickouts.


I think we all know the discussions going on at FB HQ about 'what people want to see' are far, far removed from the journalistic decisions that get made in a quality news room.

Throwing in Murdoch and Fox News isn't helping your argument either. I'd put Murdoch up there as one of the key people who have actively sought to abuse journalism for political favour and personal gain. I just don't see how that is right.


Proper news sources don't sell the news. They sell trust, my trust in them. BBC.co.uk/news isn't my first bookmark on every device because they entertain me. It is there because I trust that anything appearing on that website has been deemed important by a group of professionals. I don't want to read popular news. I certainly do not trust Facebook/Google/Apple to curate anything beyond funny cat vids.

BBC does include the occasional fun story of little real news value (ie the pet raccoon who got into the pot brownies) but this liberty is taken seriously. It never detracts from the real news articles.


Well, proper news sources should be something like regulated public "utilities" (assuming sane democratic/journalistic standards).

It's the same for me with tagesschau.de and Deutschlandfunk.


Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with nor endorse Facebook. I actually deleted mine for 6 months before making a new one to keep in touch with friends.

But, I will not knock a company for wanting to maximize profits. They want their users to want to use their platform. If I owned a social media, or any product really, I would want to do everything I can to keep them coming back. I feel like as long as it isn't illegal, and done with best practices (ethically and morally) then that is what a free market is about. Should a competitor arise and do it better then That would be fantastic! Markets thrive through competition and freedom of choice. But as it stands there is not a whole lot of competition state side.

I don't agree with a lot that Facebook, or Mark, does. But I have respect for them from strictly a business point of view for staying above water as long as they have. I just wish there was a viable competitor.


> I will not knock a company for wanting to maximize profits.

This statement only exists in a vacuum. The only way you can truthfully make this claim is if you can put absolutely anything inside the blank in the following sentence:

"I will not knock a company for wanting to maximize profits, even if they ______"

> If I owned a social media, or any product really, I would want to do everything I can to keep them coming back.

Again, you should be able to place absolutely anything in the blanks here and still believe in your statement:

"I would want to do everything I can to keep them coming back, even _______"

> I feel like as long as it isn't illegal

Slavery was legal for a very long time, and had its own "best practices".

> Should a competitor arise and do it better then That would be fantastic!

Yes, what this world needs is a cutthroat surveillance complex even more smart and ruthless than Facebook.

> But I have respect for them from strictly a business point of view for staying above water as long as they have.

Facebook hasn't even been around for two decades. My grandmother's small business has been around longer than that, and she doesn't have a board of advisors.

> I just wish there was a viable competitor.

This entire argument feels like a strawman. No one is saying Facebook needs a competitor. People are saying Facebook is too powerful. Any viable competitor would thus also be too powerful.


> I never said 'even if they ______'. That's kind of a stretch of what I originally meant. What I had in mind when I said that I guess was imagining someone running flyers or business cards around town advertising their startup. Stuff that does not manipulate, put at risk, harm, or exploit the user.

I do believe a line should be drawn regarding the reach of any company. It was why I left Facebook in the first place, because yes I considered them too powerful. Not only technology wise but playing a too powerful role in my own personal life. But then I figured the 20+ years I have already spent on the internet has already garnered a healthy data profile on me and just dropping the one service wasn't going to dent that too much. So I came back to keep in contact while now minimizing my time spent on there.

When I mention competitors I am thinking of a company that closely provides a lot of the same functionality as Facebook but without the censoring, surveillance, exploiting of its users. But, even if one existed the only way that would work is if people moved to it. I think it is entirely possible for that to happen. But like you said, who is to say down the road they won't take the same turn that Facebook did?

Its a risk that will always exist on these type of services. One thing remains is that there will always be a demand for socializing / connectivity.

Comparing Facebook to slavery is a bit of a stretch. I think we as a people now have a better understanding of our inherent rights and where boundaries should be. The problem lies in the fact that a majority of the people do not care or acknowledge being the product of a company.

I'm not sure what else to say other than I believe that everyone and every business should have a market that they can succeed in. You're grandmother probably does so because she treats people right. Makes them feel welcome and listens to their concerns and requests in whatever it is that she does. The same should go for larger corporations. They should listen to their users feedback and provide them with what they are wanting. Whether or not these things should even exist is not an argument I am qualified to explore.


> What I had in mind when I said that I guess was imagining someone running flyers or business cards around town advertising their startup.

Which is exactly why I explained that your claim only existed in a vacuum. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't say "I will not knock a company for wanting to maximize profits" in the context of Facebook trying to create a larger echo chamber and control local news consumption if you don't mean it. That has nothing to do with running flyers.

> When I mention competitors I am thinking of a company that closely provides a lot of the same functionality as Facebook but without the censoring, surveillance, exploiting of its users

The larger arc of this conversation is that Facebook shouldn't be allowed to do certain things. Another Facebook clone in the wild only increases the odds that more than one company will try to completely subsume your digital life and influence your thoughts and conversations, it does nothing to address the above problem and is irrelevant to the conversation. Here lies the straw man.

> Comparing Facebook to slavery is a bit of a stretch.

I agree. But I obviously didn't do that. I was clearly making a statement about the fact that there is no basis for the belief that the laws in a country reflect what is actually right and wrong.

There was no comparison between Facebook and anything. I'll chalk that up to a misunderstanding rather than another straw man argument.

> I'm not sure what else to say other than I believe that everyone and every business should have a market that they can succeed in.

A lot of people disagree with you. With the idea that legislation should be business-first instead of people-first. Because that is the ultimate eventuality of such a system.

We end up with the situation we now have in America where corporations run rampant across our human rights, destroy the environment and cause mass extinctions, lie and steal from our pockets, pay absurdly less taxes than they are supposed to, breach our privacy and sell our transactional history for a buck fifty, buy overwhelming majorities of local news stations, implant reporters, displace native cultures in order to build oil pipelines, engage in economically-motivated paramilitary operations all over the world, support oppressive regimes and the dismantling of democracy everywhere south of the border, etc etc etc.

Your Candyland world where businesses listen to users, users who are educated enough to engage in serious conversations with Facebook's support about major technological and socioeconomic consequences of their platform, and these businesses respond in a moral fashion, flourishing in their free markets, where scarcely a law exists which puts a dent in their bottom line, inevitably ends in an apocalyptic wasteland.

A company is just a group of people with a common goal. Nothing magically transforms it into some other entity with legislative preference. Claiming that a group of people with a common goal should get legislative preference over a singular individual (which is required if you believe in free market capitalism) is just absurd, and the consequences are incredibly obvious: the strong will bully the weak, groups will bully individuals, companies will take advantage of individuals if the individuals are not legally protected from certain kinds of "business".


Except this is exactly why a society entirely planned around markets is bad, markets left alone would only result in every social ill being magnified as any given addictive and harmful substance would become cheaper to produce and further marketed towards us.

Facebook playing algorithmic mind games with people of all ages to keep them hooked with the goal of maximizing profits is no different than cigarette companies marketing to children with the goal of maximizing profits.


There are many compelling arguments that Facebook is addictive. I remember feeling physically ill, as if struck by the flu, the first day I quit facebook.

(You might argue with Milton Friedman, that the free market should be allowed to provide addictive goods. This may well be true, but there's no D.A.R.E for social media; there are also very few non-social media users you might compare with social media users for reference, as you might for potheads and cokeheads.)


That's exactly what the parent is saying, that few of Facebook's actions have been done with best practices (ethically or morally).

No reason to cheer on a company to profits at the expense of the society that made that company possible and you have to live in, then they have no incentive at all to do the right thing.


> I will not knock a company for wanting to maximize profits.

I won't knock a tiger for wanting to eat meat, but I'm also not going to nod along sagely as it stalks me through the underbrush without at least complaining about it.


> This opening line is just all wrong. News isn't about 'what you want to see', writing news to garner clicks is basically another way of saying 'our news reporting is fundamentally biased'.

There are multiple meanings of the word 'want'. There is 'want' in the sense of what people will click on, which we have learned is not always good. But that doesn't mean that what people say that they want is similarly toxic.

For instance, if you ask me what i'd like to have for lunch today, i'll say "a nice healthy salad". But if you put a delicious burrito in front of me, I will eat that burrito instead. Does that mean I didn't want the salad? No. It means that preference is not a unitary thing. Assuming that Facebook investigated the question of "what do our users want" with this nuanced understanding of preference, and interrogated their users "higher wants" (articulated preference) rather than their "lower wants" (revealed preference), I think that line is ok.


I believe FB would give you whatever you are most likely to click (the cheese filled burrito), to think that FB has any integrity beyond that feels naive in the face of their investor's interests.

FaceBook makes money from advertising, whatever it takes to get you to stick around and look at ads is going to be the 'news' they are most motivated to present. Do we have any other reason to believe otherwise?


That depends on what you think their investors interests are. Facebook is losing a lot of social capital by pursuing the path that it has. I am an investor in Facebook (not one that matters, just have a few shares), and I, out of pure self interest, want them to reform themselves in this regard. Yes, there is a path to short term profits that aggressively exploits clickbait. However, as is becoming apparent, that path is going to lead to heavy handed regulation and/or a mass exodus from their platforms. Either of those things would be disastrous for future profits, so I don't think, even from a purely self-interested perspective, that it's true that they don't want to solve this problem.


Honestly at this point, anything they do is just a ploy to advance some kind of hidden agenda even more so than any other corporation. Their name in my trust bank is pretty bankrupt.


What is news about then? Is it just what you think is important? And what if I disagree, how will we know who's right?


So who decides what's news worthy?


Isn't this the fundamental question? Who do you want to decide what is news worthy for you?


Well, currently ad dollars.


I get what you're saying but this kind of capture already happened with Sinclair, and it's mind-boggling how awful it can be at times. I think any kind of competition would move the needle closer to fairness rather than away from it.


As someone who has been running a local newspaper for the last four years in a town of about 11 thousand people, getting money or support from Facebook would feel like someone robbing you and then being so kind as to split the money with you. My trust in them is exactly zero.

They have practically monopolized news distribution, helped to destroy the business model of an important social service and now they would like to make up for it by giving a fraction of the money back?


I also run a local news outlet, digital-only though and not print. Facebook is both the reason for our success and also the source of our biggest pain. They almost put us out of business within the last year.

For how they're helping, it's really hard to get people to care about websites. People as a whole just don't care. They don't want to visit your website. So we publish our stories and share them to Facebook. We get about a 10% click through of people who saw the story, which is better than we'd do without publishing to Facebook.

On the other hand, our biggest draw is the event calendar, organizing all of the city and business events into one local calendar. People visit for the events, and then also click on news headlines they find interesting. Up until April 2018, we got this event data from the Facebook events API and linked it all back to Facebook if people wanted more details. A win-win I think. In April 2018, they shut off the events API with zero warning. So these public events from businesses who want people to attend their events, events which are visible by people who are not even logged into Facebook, are now considered private data by Facebook and no longer part of their API.

The big draw of aggregating them is that people see a curated list of good events that are actually near them: in a small town, just clicking Discover on Facebook events shows you mostly stuff from the big cities nearby. It takes a few clicks to get to events actually happening in the small town itself. We still have it, but we have to type it all by hand every week, which leaves less time for writing stories, talking to story leads and city officials and customers, selling ads, you know the actual "local news" part of the business.

Facebook, if you're reading this and want to help local news: turn the public events API back on. A local band playing at my local brewery is not private information, it is the definition of "things that should be shared".


That’s interesting- would you be willing to share your publication? I’d love to check it out.


It's very closely tied to my real-world identity so I'm not comfortable linking it here at this time. It's only interesting to the people living in/around my small town, to anyone else it would just look like a generic small town news website full of unimportant small-town topics.


Are you capturing these folks from FB through email sign-ups? Have seen a couple local news orgs successfully get people to visit their site directly by investing in email.


I have a call-to-action on every page asking people to sign up for the newsletter, but the number of people who actually do that are so insignificant that it doesn't matter. Over the past year I've had about two dozen signups, compared to 15,000 people hitting the site.

I haven't explored more of the popular avenues for this though, things like "if the mouse moves to close the tab, show a pop up asking for a signup". It might convert but it's not something I'm comfortable doing at this point.


Why did they shut off the API? Any reason given?


It was just the catch-all "we're reducing the personal data visible through our API". Nothing specific to the events API. Which would make sense if it restricted the ability to see how many people were going and who had RSVP'd, but they shut off everything.

When I asked Facebook support, they gave me two options: direct users to the Facebook Local app (bypassing my site), or have every business I wanted to collect event data from log into my site and store their user access token, and that would give me permission to collect their events. This token needs to be re-upped every so often, so now I'm asking hundreds of people to log into my site every month just to keep their events populating. Most of the business owners can barely use Facebook to begin with, it's just a non-starter.


It's not guilt that's giving money back as much as the fact that they need content producers at the end of the day. If you guys got smart about it you might be able to do something like collective bargaining against the giant, assuming the services you offer are irreplaceable by non-journalists.


Thank you for explaining the incentive behind the media-blitz against Facebook.


Monopolized news distribution? How so? Aren't there many sites which provide news such as reddit, Twitter, Hacker News ;) etc?


Can’t speak for others, but we would have no chance distributing our content digitally on Twitter or Hacker News. Or even RSS and mailing lists. We strive to find other ways, but sharing on Facebook and paying for eyeballs seems to be the only realistic option at the moment.


Why's there no chance? Aren't there any strategies out there that can be tried out?


I guess it’s mostly a question of social networks working too well for people to care about other channels.


Facebook already has way too much power in their ability to shape reality for billions of people. Now they have even more power as the local news companies will be beholden to their investor.


Best win-win outcome IMO would be for Facebook to pay itself this $300M as an incentive to stay completely out of news, local and otherwise.


prevent people from posting news articles? you know that facebook doesnt post or promote news itself... right?


My favourite story involving Facebook and the news is when Facebook's head of news - Campbell Brown (the former CNN anchor), went down to Australia. She was hired after the 2016 election as a go-between for Facebook and news organizations.

According to a report in "The Australian" she is quoted to have allegedly said "We will help you revitalise journalism... in a few years the ­reverse looks like I’ll be holding your hands with your dying ­business like in a hospice" and "We are not interested in talking to you about your traffic and referrals anymore. That is the old world and there is no going back – Mark wouldn’t agree to this"

Then Facebook denied that this happened.

So to summarize:

- Facebook is accused of not doing enough to combat fake news

- Facebook hires Campbell Brown to be a point person to deal with the fake news situation

- A newspaper reports that Campbell Brown allegedly tried to push them around

- Facebook says this is fake news


Interesting timing, the day after Newspack was announced.[1] I know which one I'm going to support, but it's going to be tough to take on a $300mm commitment with a $3mm commitment.

1. https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/newspack-by-wordpre...


Reading about Newspack, I'm wondering what their definition of "small news organization" is... considering after the "development period", they'll start charging sites $1000-$2000 PER MONTH. Again I'm not sure on their definition of "small" but as someone who runs a small news organization and is active in groups involving small news organizations, I know a lot of small news organizations would love to make enough money that $1000/mo for web hosting would be worth it.

Neither of the pages they link to in this announcement actually states what makes this worth $1000/mo rather than the $25/mo Wordpress normally charges. In fact I don't see literally anything describing what you get with Newspack at all.

>we’re seeing a need for an inexpensive platform

Is $1000/mo "inexpensive" compared to their normal price of $25/mo? I'm extremely interested in understanding what this actually is, but I just read 5 articles from various sites and none of them actually say what Wordpress is offering that's worth $1000-$2000 PER MONTH.


With Google Reader Gone, Facebook and Twitter essentially have taken the place of feed readers. It makes a lot of sense for Facebook, it's not merely a social network anymore. It's acting like a social 'OS' for the users now.


Yahoo.com used to be that "social OS" in the 1990s and early 2000s, and look at them now. They even had a Facebook-like feature as part of their service, Yahoo 360.


Google Reader and RSS has outsize importance in tech and blogging circles, but as someone who was in college in the late-2000s, I count on one hand the number of people who knew what RSS even was. I'd say FB and Twitter killed forums and website comment sections.


All the more reason to support Newspack and independent/local journalism over Facebook.


Interestingly the post says nothing about Sinclair which makes me think this is nothing more than a gigantic media partnership and yet another reason to distrust the news.


Ah yes the bastion of journalistic quality that is local news...wait...what?

FB gets a lot of flak for fake news and then decides to invest in local news? Why not in institutions that set the standard for journalism and bring accountability such as Pro Publica?


The decline in local news likely plays a big part in the decline in American civic life and social capital.

That said, $300M isn't nearly enough to even mitigate the damage Facebook does to American civic life simply by virtue of being a data-mining, misinformation spreading behemoth.

Their business model is at cross purposes with the ideal of having an informed citizenry. The entire point of marketing and advertising is to construct a reality in which people are motivated to buy what you're selling. It is utterly indifferent to truth.

You can't have a medium whose every design pattern is geared towards empowering bullshit artists and fostering susceptibility to said bullshit and then just try to paper it over by throwing some cash in the direction of "local journalism." Seriously, $300M is the equivalent of spare change found between couch cushions for Facebook. This is nothing. This is just image laundering.


Name me a war the US entered that isn't World War II that wasn't coincident with a misinformation campaign published on dead tree legacy media. The truth is that mass media IS edutainment at best and completely misleading fiction most of the time.

You get to pick two: fast, cheap, and good/true. If it is fast and cheap it is fake. If it is cheap and true it will take time to attain. If it is true and fast, it won't be cheap to get the information.


National media is the problem there. Anything at that level is a target for misinformation campaigns.

Local newsrooms are too many to thoroughly corrupt as easily as a national (or in the case of FB, international) media system.

I'm not sure your "pick 2 of 3" is valid here. Do you have actual examples to support your hypothesis?


It's just an old saying that is basically accurate about any human endeavor that is used to deflate sham projects that can never succeed at their stated ends. E.g. "I'll build a hydroelectric dam in 24 hours that will power the whole state and it will cost $1."

Local news is even more beholden to big local advertisers who dictate coverage. So few people actually care about local political news that even if you threw resources at it, you would not find that many people who cared enough to pay attention to it. C-SPAN's ratings aren't as good as almost any other cable network you can think of, for example, and the same theme is repeated in local news. People care much more about things like real estate, crime, arts&leisure, and fluffy health coverage.


Why exclude WWII? US entered WWII via a false explanation of what caused the Pearl Harbor attack, and support for the war was kept aflout by propaganda.


Actual bombs were dropped on Pearl Harbor regardless of the historical questions about whether or not there was foreknowledge of the attack.


Pro Publica was created by billionaire bankers a little more than 10 years ago. They aren't in need of any funding. Also, it's a bit of a stretch to say that pro publica is the standard of journalism or accountability. Pro Publica is an advocacy institution.


You may not intend it, but when you write, "created by billionaire bankers" it doesn't add to the conversation much (specific behavior influenced by that funding would be more useful, if it exists) and is recalls some kind of unpalatable language/imagery used by far right groups - which I'm definitely not accusing you of, to be clear.

One thing you may not know is that they publish their full financials, in accordance with the mission statement around transparency. You can see their full 2017 finances here: https://assets.propublica.org/2017-Financial-Statements-for-... (and you can see they are financially conservative, but are very much in need of funding to support their operations).

I have no connection to them other than admiration for how they are operated and their mission.


Has it really gotten to the point where we need to explicitly disavow anti-semitism when expressing anti-billionaire banker sentiment?


We were discussing whether facebook should fund pro publica like they are supporting struggling local news companies. Since pro publica is supported by billionaire bankers, they aren't struggling for money and if they need it, they can tap the foundation that the billionaire bankers set up for them. Frankly, I don't think facebook should be supporting either, but given the choice between struggling local news and pro publica, I think struggling local news is the proper choice. Also, I'm not accusing you of being a far leftist to be clear, but it's an unpalatable tactic used by the far left to label everything as being far right and it really doesn't add much to the conversation. Also, if a company is financially conservative, they wouldn't be in need of additionally funding. That's the central idea of financial conservatism, the budget drives your needs rather than your needs driving the budget.


First, not accusing you of being far right (to the contrary I specifically stated I was not).

I was responding to specific point in your comment. They don't have a huge trust fund, they have a public budget. They don't run a deficit, but they have areas they would invest in if they had more donations. If they ceased getting donations, they would not be able to operate.

To the point of this article, I think Facebook has approximately zero credibility in this area, whether they donate to local news companies or anyone else. They have done as much as anyone to kill local news (by moving the content into the newsfeed as by creating bad metrics that caused many news companies to pivot to video content).

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/data-lords-the-real-sto... is an interesting article from a small media company if it's interesting to you.

ps - upvoted you, I don't see why you've been downvoted.


That preamble in his post was most likely drawing a a connection between "billionaire bankers" and the far-right triple parentheses anti-banker sentiment (to be a bit euphemistic).


Yeah. And your response to my original comment is fair. It is definitely a dog-whistle for some people, but I had ceding ground to people trying to steal common usage words to encode hate speech. I was on the fence about mentioning it.


Former bankers who are now dead.

A billionaire once donated to my local food bank; that doesn't make the food bank financially independent.


I think you could call any investigative journalism "advocacy".


Would you trust a Pro Publica article "sponsored by" FB? Or NPR programs supported by contributions from FB? That's right up there with 1950s TV programming sponsored by cigarette companies. After all 9 out of 10 doctors...


The whole thing reeks of damage control to make it look like they're doing something. $60m/yr for 5 years is a measly fraction of their $40b in revenue.

It also fails to understand why local journalism has completely collapsed in the past decade. A big portion of that is people moving to cities. Politico did a great article on this which showed why the media does have a decidedly liberal slant.

Regardless this is a societal problem that a private company such as FB throwing money at will not make a noticeable difference.


1.5% of revenue (3% of profit) for one area of the product is non-trivial.


Is Pro Publica going to cover your city council meetings or keep your state legislature accountable? What those government bodies do is important, and corruption can hide in them. Local TV news does suck, but local newspapers are vitally important.


Pro Publica does a lot of that, yes: https://www.propublica.org/topics/


Here in the Czech Republic, around 70 % of all people live in municipalities under 50 thousand people, and I think that’s rather the norm than an exception. Doesn’t that put local media in a different perspective?


Seriously. Last night St. Louis local news aired a story about an elderly woman who walks around her apartment. Good for the woman but I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/health/no-gym-no-problem-s...


ProPublica operates a local reporting network with 14 partners. https://www.propublica.org/atpropublica/propublica-picks-loc...


Anyone else not want local news support coming from FB of all places?


Or Facebook to Invest $300m in Influencing Local News.

Facebook newsfeed model inherently works against local news and small guys (unless some certain piece goes viral once in a while). Local news outlet based out of some small locality does not have a huge follower base that gets Facebook's attention. This is just another PR stunt by Facebook.


Same problem when using google youtube, they push CNN ahead of other news bloggers. CNN is also excluded from being blocked like normal channels.

The future of Facebook news is their curated hand picked news.


Know what would actually help local news? Ad revenue share on their pages. So many older people treat Facebook as "the internet" are rarely venture off platform.


Maybe we have a different idea of “older” people, but my experience is that older people actually still read newspapers (ie dead trees).


Lion invests $300M in the preservation of gazelles.


It's a good idea, but facebook can't be trusted.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/dec/13/they-dont...

>Journalists paid to help fix Facebook’s fake news problem say they have lost trust in the platform

>“They’ve essentially used us for crisis PR,” said Brooke Binkowski, former managing editor of Snopes, a factchecking site that has partnered with Facebook for two years. “They’re not taking anything seriously. They are more interested in making themselves look good and passing the buck … They clearly don’t care.”


> It's a good idea, but facebook can't be trusted.

In my opinion it seems like the foundations for a Patron/Client relationship. Those typically only really work out for the two parties involved.


“We noticed that others were using our platform for psychological manipulation, we can no longer continue to allow this unless it’s Facebook approved messaging”

-Mark Zuckerfuck


The old local news model is dying because it's top heavy and has enormous overhead. Local news isn't dying though, and is as valuable as ever. It's just in the process of completely changing.

One person can now do more with 1/1000th the budget of a local Newspaper with the barrier to entry being hard work, good writing skills, social media savvy and a love of the place they are covering.

More money to these organizations will just keep them on life support longer. Now if they changed their model 100% that would be a completely different story.

The future of journalism will be a lot of small teams (1-4) of writers/journalists/personalities running their own show in their city or state.

The financial woes of the old news industry is a symptom. A change is needed.


Great! Though nothing on how the Facebook click-bait business model is at odds with good journalism, which has led to the decline of reputable newspapers and rise of Buzzfeed.


Facebook's idea of news is "anything that keeps you more addicted to our app, and/or more easily targetable for ads".


The more they force themselves into the people's lives, the more people will be pushed away. Just watch.


I am a publisher of a medical technologies website since 2004.

To really help journalism, Facebook and Google need to get out of the surveillance capitalism business.

I left this comment before on a different thread.

What we have now is monopolized internet. Few entities, like Google and FB, took over the internet and crafted the landscape to their advantage. They monopolized ads revenue, search traffic, and more importantly, they are actively spying on the general public, taking away any possible advantages from publishers. So website for doctors cannot make money by advertising to doctors. Doctors will see Google ads on Candy Crush. The result is a dearth of advertising money for publishers and regulations aimed at destroying any attempt to take over these behemoths. Local news is dead, because Google and Facebook know your location, and they sell it.

When was the last time you saw GFPR notice on Facebook or Google? Do you think publishers enjoy having "Please Donate" pop-ups? When was the last time you heard of investment rounds in online publishers, or any publisher? Why do you think Denver Post and USA Today are barely alive?

In the olden days we had websites and blog networks being born, Gawker, Weblogs Inc, TechCrunch network, political networks, etc etc. And what do we have now? Central stations with fake news shenanigans and retarded memes. While publishers, including your local newspaper and your favorite websites, are struggling.


Do these execs / decision makers live in some fantasy land where they think this looks and sounds okay? I assume none of the employees were asked about this, as any rational person would tell them "wait a second, I think this is stupid."


it's amazing how facebook has become an internet within the internet for stuff like looking at news, company information, etc.


my wife just told me that they're presenting recipes to her for her to save in some other corner of her facebook ... experience.

they really are attempting to become an "internet within the Internet." kinda reminiscent of how AOL started.


A platform that is renowned for sanitising the world around us to fit their agenda, invests in news outlets. Is anyone else seeing the problem here?

I am glad I left that platform.


lol sure. Supporting local news with Russian propaganda


Might as well have been posted by The Onion


With stipulations, of course.


Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


Not sure if I got that, did you mean "Do not want." perhaps?


Facebook has already proven to be liars. They are also biased with everything they do. Facebook has clouded the minds of everyone! Get the f off facebook and go live your life! Facebook needs to die in a fire.




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