In its ongoing effort to curb fake news and mend relationships with traditional media outlets, Facebook, Inc. (FB) on Wednesday announced that it is launching the Journalism Project, an initiative aimed to create a healthier "news ecosystem" on its platform.
Facebook wants to form closer ties with news organizations. In a statement Wednesday, the social media giant laid out a number of initiatives, including promoting news literacy and developing additional tools to "curb news hoaxes." Facebook also outlined plans to collaborate with news outlets on publishing tools and features before they're released. (See also: Facebook's Fake News Is Fixable: Chief AI Researcher.)
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company didn't provide specific details about what the new collaborations and news tools will entail, saying instead that the efforts are continuing and that more updates will be given soon. According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook will begin working with several prominent news outlets, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Fox News, BuzzFeed and Vox Media.
This new project and the investments it will require suggest that Facebook has begun to embrace its status as a media company, although CEO Mark Zuckerberg initially rejected the idea. "News and media are not the primary things people do on Facebook, so I find it odd when people insist we call ourselves a news or media company in order to acknowledge its importance," Zuckerberg wrote in a comment on a Nov. 13 Facebook post. (See also: Facebook's Fake News Created by Its Own Premise.)
However, the criticism Facebook and Zuckerberg received for what some critics perceived as its role in affecting November's U.S. presidential election has seemingly given Facebook no choice but to embrace news and make it better. The Journalism Project coincides with the company's hiring of Campbell Brown, a former CNN prime-time host, to lead its news partnerships team.
Brown, who has also worked for NBC News as a correspondent, said her job will be to "help news organizations and journalists work more closely and more effectively with Facebook." The addition of Brown and the launch of the Journalism Project suggest that the company is now taking its role in the media more seriously. (See also: Mark Zuckerberg Outlines Steps to Fight Fake News.)