COVID-19 impact rolls through tech sector
Facebook Inc. said it will spend US$100 million to help shore up local news organizations battered by worsening economic headwinds amid the pandemic.
“Local journalists are being hit especially hard, even as people turn to them for critical information to keep their friends, families and communities safe,” Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of global news partnerships, said in a blog post Monday.
The money includes US$25 million in emergency grants for local news through the Facebook Journalism Project and US$75 million in additional marketing spending for news organizations around the world. The first of the grants went to 50 newsrooms in the U.S. and Canada, Brown said, including The Post and Courier in South Carolina, the Southeast Missourian and El Paso Matters.
While more people are seeking out news and information as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, economically challenged businesses are spending less on advertising. Facebook, the world’s largest social-media site, has become a major outlet for news in recent years but has also faced accusations of enabling the spread of misinformation.
The new investment comes on top of US$300 million the company pledged last year to support newsrooms through 2021.