Social media giant Facebook has teamed up with other tech corporations aiming to launch a $14 million fund to end news illiteracy and improve public understanding of journalism.
“As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we want to give people the tools necessary to be discerning about the information they see online,” said Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of news partnership, in a statement.
The nonprofit called the News Integrity Initiative and sponsored by Facebook, Mozilla and other tech industry leaders and foundations, will be based at the City University of New York. The fund will be run as a separate project of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
“We’re in good company with over 25 funders and participants, including the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks,” according to Facebook’s statement.
“We want to bring the conversation past just talking about media and to bring the public in. We want to go beyond the fake news discussion and get to what I hope is a flight to quality,” said Jeff Jarvis, who heads CUNY’s Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, as quoted by Business Insider.
False news and misinformation veiled as true stories became a serious issue during the US election campaign and the presidential elections last year.
The joint move comes a part of an attempt to address scandals evoked by a wave of false news stories posted on Facebook that went viral during the elections.
Following unproven claims Facebook contributed to the US presidential election result, last December, the web giant announced a plan to crack down on ‘fake news.’ As part of the project, the corporation partnered with fact checkers including ABC News, FactCheck.org, AP, Snopes, and Politifact.
Recent polls have revealed that the public’s trust in the news industry has significantly eroded, reports CNBC.