Facebook, likely in an attempt to further quell the spread of “fake news”, is collaborating with news agencies to bring you Facebook Journalism. This project will allow for greater communication and cooperation between the social media giant and journalists.
This is far from the first time social media has collided with direct journalism. Over the years these sites, in particular Facebook and Twitter, have become major sources of information and direct communication for journalists with the subjects of their stories. Often when something happens the social media profile of the subject of the event will be the first port of call. At times the social media post itself is the story.
However, this project is taking things much further.
A New Experience In The Social Realm
First of all, they will be expanding their tools in their newsroom to train journalists to better use Facebook, including adding nine new languages and new ecourses. This is a boon for amateur “journalists” who fall more into the activist range, but also for those who are still learning the ropes in the ever change social newscape.
Now they will also be adding in more hackathons that are news focused, local news stories and connections emerging business models, new ways of storytelling on the platform, greater “listening” tools to find news around the social web, and collaboration on news products.
On another front, Facebook is really pushing the idea of “news literacy”, or providing tools for the average Joe to learn about news and current events. This is another side of their “fake news” fight. They can’t keep fake news off the platform altogether, but they can help educate people about what is and isn’t real. With any luck it will reduce hoaxes by lessening how often they are shared by ignorant people out of fear.
I don’t know how I feel about this, to be honest. In one way it seems like it is giving a platform for more slanted “journalism” that is more and more opinion based by the year. But on the other, this is the world we live in. If we don’t do something about it, no one will. Facebook is working the best they can with a changing world that we haven’t caught up to yet.
That is the nature of technology and advancement, sadly. The tech moves faster than everything else does.