Facebook and Mozilla have teamed up with other companies to launch a $14 million fund in support of global online news literacy. The non profit called the ‘News Integrity Initiative’ will run as an independent project of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. It aims to be a “global consortium focused on helping people make informed judgments about the news they read and share online.” CUNY and Tow-Knight are both based in New York City and will help run the newly formed fund by promoting news literacy and improving the perception of journalism in general.
Facebook’s support for the fund follows closely on the heels of the controversy surrounding the social network’s involvement in spreading misinformation on its platform. “The initiative will address the problems of misinformation, disinformation and the opportunities the internet provides to inform the public conversation in new ways,” Campbell Brown, Head of News Partnerships at Facebook stated in a post. “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,” he added.
The News Integrity Initiative will fund applied research and projects, organise public meetings with industry experts and hold special events to spread awareness about online news content. “In high school U.S. history, I learned that a trustworthy press is the immune system of democracy,” said Craigslist Founder, Craig Newmark. He added, “As a news consumer, like most folks, I want news we can trust. That means standing up for trustworthy news media and learning how to spot clickbait and deceptive news.”
Image Courtesy: Reuters