Facebook has committed to providing local news organizations in the U.S. and Canada with $25 million in grant funding and spending another $75 million on ads with news outlets worldwide. The aim is to support an industry “working under extraordinary conditions to keep people informed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company said in a statement.
A first round of $5,000 grants went to 50 local newsrooms in the U.S. and Canada as part of the social media company’s COVID-19 Community Network grant program. The funds allowed The Post and Courier in South Carolina to take down its paywall for COVID-19 stories. The Southeast Missourian is using its grant to bolster remote work technology, and on plans to inform elderly readers should distribution be disrupted. In the Bay Area, the online news site Mission Local in San Francisco received a first-round grant.
In addition to the $100 million contribution, last year Facebook committed $300 million to support journalism.
“This money will not only help keep journalists reporting right now amidst the crisis, the funding will also fuel opportunities for local media to accelerate business transformation toward a more sustainable digital footing,” Nancy Lane, CEO of Local Media Association, said in a statement.
Photo of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook co-founder and CEO, courtesy of Facebook