Facebook and other tech giants have formed a coalition in order to improve the public’s trust in the news.
The $14 million program, called the “News Integrity Initiative,” will include cooperation from Mozilla, the Knight Foundation, the Tow Foundation, City University of New York (CUNY) and other organizations.
While Facebook has grown into the world’s most dominant news platform over the years, founder Mark Zuckerberg had consistently denied that his company was involved in the news. However, the social media giant has changed its stance lately in order to deal with criticisms of a vast amount of false information being put on the website, especially during the presidential election.
The company has since responded with a new “Facebook Journalism Project” and “listening tour” with local media.
“We’re excited to announce we are helping to found and fund the News Integrity Initiative, a diverse new network of partners who will work together to focus on news literacy,” Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships at Facebook, said. “The initiative will address the problems of misinformation, disinformation and the opportunities the internet provides to inform the public conversation in new ways.”
CUNY will serve as the home base for the nonprofit, which will also operate as an independent project of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
The school mentioned other founders of the initiative, which include the Democracy Fund, AppNexus and Betaworks. Craiglist founder Craig Newmark and the Ford Foundation are also contributing to the program.
Jeff Jarvis, professor of journalism at CUNY and one of the leaders of “News Integrity,” wrote in a blog post that Facebook and its “fake news” conflict will be one of the initiative’s many areas of focus.
“My greatest hope is that this Initiative will provide the opportunity to work with Facebook and other platforms on reimagining news, on supporting innovation, on sharing data to study the public conversation, and on supporting news literacy broadly defined,” Jarvis said.