By CHIMA AKWAJA
Facebook said it is investing additional $100 million to support the news industry in the fight to contain the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic crisis.
It said the news industry is working under extraordinary conditions to keep people informed during the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when journalism is needed more than ever, ad revenues are declining due to the economic impact of the virus.
Facebook noted, local journalists are being hit especially hard, even as people turn to them for critical information to keep their friends, families and communities safe.
Vice president, Global News Partnerships, Campbell Brown, and Facebook said, “Today we’re announcing an additional $100 million investment to support the news industry— $25 million in emergency grant funding for local news through the Facebook Journalism Project, and $75 million in additional marketing spend to move money over to news organisations around the world.
“Through the Covid-19 Community Network grant programme, direct funding is helping journalists cover important stories when we all need them most. We’re building on this work and will direct a portion of these funds to publishers most in need in the hardest hit countries. The first round of these grants went to 50 local newsrooms in the US and Canada.
“This money will not only help keep journalists reporting right now amidst the crisis, the funding will also fuel opportunities for local media to accelerate business transformation toward a more sustainable digital footing,” said Nancy Lane, CEO of Local Media Association.