Facebook announced today that it would be investing $300 million over the next three years in an initiative to fund local news, CNN reported. Some of the money will go towards organizations like the Pulitzer Center and Report For America, to fund local investigative journalism. Some will go towards organizations working on alternative business models for local newsrooms.
Google announced a similar partnership with local news organizations last spring, also committing $300 million. Both Google and Facebook, which dominate digital advertising, have played a big role in the decline of local news, by pulling ad dollars from traditional media.
This isn’t the first time that Facebook has jumped in with an institutional investment to help shore up the news industry. Last June, the company announced that it would fund a slate of news programs for its Facebook Watch division, although as we reported, it has since told news executives it would cut funding for individual shows while keeping the overall funding the same.
Facebook’s vice president of global news partnerships, Campbell Brown, already seems to be attempting to adjust expectations downward, telling CNN today that “We can be part of the solution, but we can’t be the whole solution.”