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April 29, 2021, 2:29 p.m.
LINK: www.facebook.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Hanaa' Tameez   |   April 29, 2021

The Facebook Journalism Project will commit five million dollars to “support local journalists interested in starting or continuing their work” on a new platform for building websites and email newsletters, the company announced on Thursday.

Facebook is encouraging applicants of color to apply and is prioritizing applications that focus on covering underrepresented local communities. It’s partnered with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and International Center for Journalists to evaluate the applications. If selected, terms of the program include the following:

Successful applicants will receive further consideration for an opportunity to enter into a deal with Facebook which includes the following commitments:

  • A multi-year licensing fee to give you time to build a true relationship with your audience.
  • Monetization tools starting with subscriptions.
  • Access to experts, information and services designed to make it easier to start and build an independent business.

As part of any such deal successful applicants will commit to:

  • Regularly publish written, public-interest journalism focused on a local community using Facebook’s tools.
  • Engage with their audience through Facebook tools such as Groups, live discussions, and other features that help them connect more deeply with their community.
  • From time to time, give the Facebook team feedback on their experience so we can improve our products and services.

Last month, Facebook announced that it would develop and launch a free, self-publishing platform to help independent content creators “build businesses online.” It sounds a lot like Substack, but with integrations to Facebook’s existing features like Pages and Groups.

The announcement about Facebook’s new platform was leaked a month earlier in February, around the same time that Twitter announced its acquisition of Revue. At the time, Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie wrote a piece on his platform titled “Welcome, Facebook and Twitter. Seriously.”

“In particular, Facebook and Twitter should do their utmost to give power to writers and readers, McKenzie wrote. “That means letting writers own their relationships with their readers and giving them the ability to take those relationships off the platform whenever they want. It also means letting readers fully control what they see in their feeds by avoiding ads and disincentivizing culture-war superweapons like retweetable quote-retweets.”

Applications close on May 20. Read the full announcement here.

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