Facebook Launches Program to Create Stronger Ties With News Industry

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Second, Facebook is working on new tools to help journalists use the social network for their reporting along with training to help them better use Facebook.

Facebook, which has been accused of assisting in the rise and spread of fake news, is seeking to put itself on steadier footing with its Journalism Project announced Wednesday.

"We care a great deal about making sure that a healthy news ecosystem and journalism can thrive", Fidji Simo, director of product at Facebook, said in a blog post.

The announcement follows a year in which the world's biggest social media network came under fire for the way in which its algorithms allegedly propagated fake news stories during the presidential election campaign.

While Facebook has collaborated with news organizations in the past, it will now seek to connect their respective product and engineering teams at earlier stages of the development process.

The Facebook Journalism Project is rolling out a week after the company tapped former CNN host Campbell Brown as its chief of news.

The Facebook Journalism Project is based on three core initiatives. Facebook also plans a listening tour in USA and Europe to make sure it's building new storytelling formats and advertising products such as ads that appear in the middle of videos that goose the fortunes of news organizations.

"For example, we've heard from editors that they want to be able to present packages of stories to their most engaged readers on Facebook", Simo said. It also rolled out a new feature allowing users to send each other links to Instant Articles in its popular Messenger function.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg insists that he runs a technology company that simply passes along other people's content, not a media one that shapes messages. Facebook is now giving journalists the ability to see how public videos perform on their Facebook profiles and plans to give profiles the ability to use professional equipment to go live, as is already possible through Pages. Facebook is also working with Bild, a German publication, to integrate trial subscription sign-ups into Instant Articles, which might help boost revenue from stories shared on the social network.

"This is just the beginning of our effort", Facebook said.

Facebook also wants to make it easier for users to know which sources are legitimate and which are fake. It is conducting a series of e-learning courses on Facebook products, tools and services for journalists. It hopes to promote news literacy through third-party organizations like the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.