Facebook announced this morning that it will be offering another $100 million worth of support to local newsrooms that are trying to cover the COVID-19 pandemic, while that same pandemic is dealing a major blow to their bottom lines.
The company says the funding will consist of $25 million in grant funding for local coverage, plus $75 million in marketing for news organizations around the world.
“If people needed more proof that local journalism is a vital public service, they’re getting it now,” said Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president of global news partnerships, in a blog post. “And while almost all businesses are facing adverse financial effects from this crisis, we recognize we’re in a more privileged position than most, and we want to help.”
Earlier this month, Facebook announced an initial $1 million in grants to help fund coverage of the pandemic, which it says today supported 50 newsrooms in the U.S. and Canada. Examples include South Carolina’s Post and Courier (which will use the money to cover the travel costs and remote work necessary to expand its coverage into rural areas), the Southeastern Missourian (funding remote work and contingency plans for delivering news to elderly readers) and El Paso Matters (hiring freelance reporters and translators).
This funding comes on top of the $300 million that Facebook committed to local news last year, as well as the $100 million in grants for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 that it announced earlier this month.