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News Organisations to be Benefitted; as Social Media Giant, Facebook Announces $4.5 mn Investment

A recent announcement made by Facebook to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the news industry globally.

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Facebook announced investment of $4.5 mn Pixabay
Facebook announced investment of $4.5 mn. Pixabay
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Facebook has announced to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the news industry globally.

The social media giant, that reported more than $5 billion in profit in the second quarter this year, said it will give $3.5 million towards “Facebook Membership Accelerator”, a three-month pilot programme designed to help news organisations with membership models.

“We are going to continue to coach the group of metro news publishers from the pilot programme through the end of this year, and we will reconvene with them in 2019 to focus on subscriber retention,” Campbell Brown, Global Head of News at Facebook, said in a blog post on Thursday.

Facebook also announced to contribute $1 million to the 2018 “NewsMatch” campaign which matches individual donations to more than 100 non-profit newsrooms around the country.

News organisations to be benefitted from Facebook's recent announcement. VOA
News organisations to be benefitted from Facebook’s recent announcement. VOA

“Last year, ‘NewsMatch’ helped make 2017 a record-breaking year for giving to non-profit journalism and we are excited to help NewsMatch expand in 2018,” said Brown.

The “Facebook Membership Accelerator” will help non-profit news organisations and local, independent publishers with membership models build sustainable businesses, by providing supporters access to exclusive content and experiences through memberships.

An earlier “Local News Subscriptions Accelerator” programme from Facebook was designed to test strategies focused on growing digital subscription acquisitions for local publishers.

“We’re encouraged by the early successes of this programme, and proud of the tangible business results that publishers have accomplished so far,” Brown noted.

Facebook to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the news industry globally. Pixabay
Facebook to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the news industry globally. Pixabay

Facebook said it is also working with publishers across the US and Europe to test support for subscriptions in “Instant Articles”.

“Moving forward, we’ll also be exploring ways to support emerging models like membership directly on Facebook,” said Brown.

Also Read: Facebook announces huge investment to empower community leaders

On Thursday, Facebook announced its first partnership in India with Chennai-based Asian School of Journalism (ACJ).

Part of the Facebook Journalism Project, the partnership will establish a scholarship programme at ACJ and support five students in four career specialisations — print, new media, radio and television. (IANS)

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Google’s Return to China Creates Unrest Within The Company

Google's Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told employees "it's all very unclear" whether Google would return to China at all.

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The Chinese flag is seen near the Google sign at the Google china headquarters in Beijing, China. VOA

Google is planning a return to China.

But the project is shrouded in secrecy, and employees are demanding transparency.

According to a report by The New York Times on Thursday, August 16, a petition calling for more oversight and accountability in the project racked up more than 1,000 signatures.

Reuters reported this month, the app is a bid to win approval from Beijing to provide a mobile search engine in China.

However, employees are concerned the app would support China’s restrictions on free expression and ultimately violate the company’s ‘don’t be evil’ code of conduct.

The petition, seen by Reuters says, “We urgently need more transparency, a seat at the table and a commitment to clear and open processes: Google employees need to know what we’re building.”

The flag of China.
employees are concerned the app would support China’s restrictions on free expression. Pixabay

The company declined to comment.

Sources say the project – codenamed Dragonfly – would block certain websites and search terms.

It would also stand in stark contrast to eight years ago, when Google left China in protest of Beijing’s censorship.

Company executives have not commented publicly on Dragonfly.

But in a transcript seen by Reuters, Google’s Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told employees “it’s all very unclear” whether Google would return to China at all.

Also Read: Google Releases ‘Go Edition of Android 9 Pie’

He also said that development is still in the early stages, and that sharing information too early could quote “cause issues”. (VOA)