Facebook today announced that it’s launching a £4.5 million or $6 million fund to train nearly 80 new local journalists in the United Kingdom as part of a new “Community News Project.” Facebook says that the aim behind this initiative is to encourage reporting from towns where local newspapers and reporters have become a rare commodity.
Facebook is the primary source of news for many people across the globe. It aims to support local publishers with this initiative and for that reason it has launched this Community News Project.
The $6 million fund will be used to support local journalism in the United Kingdom. The National Council for the Training of Journalists, Facebook’s partner on this initiative, will oversee the recruitment of around 80 trainee community journalists. They will be placed at local newsrooms on a two year scheme.
All of the community journalists will have access to a full training program from the NCTJ while they’re working. Those trainees who don’t have the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism will receive training to get the required qualification. Those who already have it will work towards a new National Qualification in Journalism for community journalists. They will also receive training from Facebook on digital newsgathering skills.
Whether or not Facebook will launch similar programs in other key markets remains to be seen.