Facebook says to spend $5 million on local journalists for its new publishing platform, which will attract independent journalists to attract an audience and earn.
According to Reuters, journalists could start applying for the program. Independent journalists in the United States can apply to the program beginning on Thursday, and priority will be given to reporters who plan to cover “Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian or other audiences of color,” in locations that lack an existing news source, Facebook said.
Facebook announced its new local news platform last month. The platform includes a self-publishing tool that lets reporters launch newsletters and charge for subscriptions, as well as integration with existing features like Facebook pages and groups.
Journalists will be able to earn through subscriptions and each writer can set their own price for the subscription.
The growth of paid newsletters has shaken up the news media world, as high-profile journalists from outlets including the New York Times and Vox Media have left to strike out on their own on platforms such as Substack and Patreon, lured by cash advances and uncapped earning potential from subscriptions.
Facebook called the platform an option for “independent local journalists who are often the lone voice covering a given community.”
It’s also competing with other self-publishing platforms — particularly newsletter provider Substack, which launched a platform in mid-April, which claims that it would select up to 30 local news reporters to receive one-year advances of up to $100,000.