Through the project, Facebook will begin collaborating with media organizations to develop news products and create tools for journalists and their readers. For this objective, the company is aligning with news organizations to create products and learning about ways to do things as a better partner from journalists.
"We know that our community values sharing and discussing ideas and news, and as a part of our service, we care a great deal about making sure that a healthy news ecosystem and journalism can thrive", project director Fidji Simo said in a blog post. Members of the media will be updated on the efforts, which include training for journalists and ways to promote news literacy among users, on a new Facebook Journalism Project page. In addition, a Facebook-owned tool called CrowdTangle, which measures social performance, will now be free to Facebook's media partners.
Also of note is Facebook's interest in supporting local news - an area of reporting that has suffered in an era of newsroom buyouts and financial troubles, and which has proven hard to financially support online. The Facebook Journalism Project is comprised of three steps.
Facebook is now testing a feature using Instant Articles which would allow readers to see multiple stories at one time, as a package, from their favorite news organizations. The initiative includes nearly every element of what traditional media companies do, such as developing news products and "storytelling formats", training journalists, promoting "news literacy", and helping shape the news.
Ever since it first launched, Facebook has resisted being described as a media company.
The social network also said it intends to visit newsrooms on a regular basis and stage hackathons, during which the company will meet with developers from news organizations and fashion fresh solutions'. They include working with news organizations on new storytelling formats and ways to present stories - which, in turn, will show up in users' news feeds.
In response to the spread of bogus news stories on the platform, the company said it will also invest in initiatives to promote media literacy. For example, Facebook now offers a series of e-learning courses that teach journalists how to take advantage of Facebook and Instagram, how to engage audiences with Facebook Live and so on.
"This is just the beginning of our effort on that front - we have much more to do", Simo said.