Just one week after Facebook's announcement to aid local newsrooms in U.S. and Canada with $1 million, the company today revealed its plans to infuse another $100 million to help the news industry amid coronavirus pandemic.
The Vice President of global news, Campbell Brown, revealed in a blog post that the local journalists play a crucial role in providing information about Covid-19. However, their employers' ad-driven business model is threatened due to the economic downturn caused by quarantines and lockdowns.
"The news industry is working under extraordinary conditions to keep people informed during the COVID-19 pandemic," Facebook said in a statement. "At a time when journalism is needed more than ever, ad revenues are declining due to the economic impact of the virus."
A Helping Hand to The Advertisers
As a result, the tech giant has decided to donate $25 million in emergency grants and aims to spend another $75 million on marketing on local news portals to help them recover their lost revenue. The company said that they have already extended these grants to 50 newsrooms in the U.S. and Canada so far.
This money will not only help the journalists continue reporting amidst the crisis but also help local news agencies to accelerate the business transformation to form more sustainable digital channels, explains Nancy Lane, CEO of Local Media Association.
Supporting Industries in Crisis
As is with other tech companies, Facebook too was under immense pressure to help out during the pandemic. This is not the first time that the social media giant has stepped up to form new partnerships to help organizations in decline.
Previously, the company invested $300 million which was distributed through several partnerships and programs that include Facebook Journalism Project's Local News Accelerator Program, the Community News Project, the Pulitzer Center, and Report for America.
Facebook also said that it would allow international health agencies to use their Messenger service for information distribution. It has already created the Messenger Coronavirus Community Hub to provide centralized information to the users.