As part of its ongoing support of journalists, Facebook recently started offering its Facebook for Journalists Certificate. Now the company is starting a pilot program to deliver training and support to local newsrooms in collaboration with the Knight Foundation.
With the spread of fake news on Facebook, the company wants to make sure good journalists are equipped with the knowledge and skills to discover information distribute their stories and grow audiences on its platform. And apart from visiting newsrooms “to learn and share” and “host journalists from around the world to discuss best practices,” Facebook is now launching a pilot project to deliver training and support to a “number of local and non-profit news organizations.” In a recent Facebook media blog post, Josh Mabry and Dorrine Mendoza of Facebook’s News Partnerships explain that
The goal is to help these newsrooms use Facebook to inform and engage their local communities through local networks established with the Knight Foundation, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, Detroit Journalism Cooperative, and Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media.
As outlined by Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation VP of Journalism, “local news is the bedrock for informed and engaged communities,” so the Facebook platform can potentially have a “large, positive impact on American society.”
Mabry and Mendoza go on to explain that the project will feature collaborations between local newsrooms and Facebook, encouraging “peer-to-peer learning” through online and in-person meetings. Of course, such collaborations will benefit newsrooms not only in the US, but also later at a global scale. However, the pilot project focuses on “local and community newsrooms”
that are part of the LION, INN, and Detroit Journalism Cooperative networks, as well as several major metropolitan news organization that are part of the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Houston Chronicle, The Miami Herald, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, The San Jose Mercury News, The Seattle Times, and The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
The Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative is currently working with the social network to help audience growth and engagement, and increase effectiveness through the use of data, tools, and best practices that the project is trying to foster.