Facebook Shelling Out Millions To Launch a Trustworthy News Section


Facebook has offered major news outlets millions of dollars to license their content for its new “News Tab” section.

Representatives from Facebook confirmed the launch of the new tab to CNBC after The Wall Street Journal released a report with details on the company’s latest plan to fight fake news.

According to The Journal, news executives have been offered as much as $3 million a year for Facebook to license headlines and previews of articles.

Some of these outlets include ABC News, Dow Jones, The Washington Post and Bloomberg, anonymous people familiar with the matter told The Journal. It is not known at this time what other companies have been approached with an offer, or which companies Facebook considers trustworthy enough for the “News Tab.”

The proposed licensing deals would last for three years after the section is launched in the fall, and it has been suggested to allow news publishers to decide how their content appears (either as a headline or a preview that would send readers to the original website).

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This new proposal would differ from Facebook for Instant Articles, a news feature that splits ad revenue with media outlets, by paying for the news before it appears on the social media site, anonymous sources told The Journal.

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The social media company currently pays similar licensing fees for content such as videos shown in the Facebook Watch section as well as content created for Facebook Live.

The “News Tab” was first suggested by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook video discussion with Axel Springer CEO Matthia Döpfner.

“It’s important to me that we help people get trustworthy news and find solutions that help journalists around the world do their important work,” Zuckerberg wrote in the video’s caption.

“I think that there are going to be 10, 15, maybe 20 percent of people in our community who really want to go deep and have an experience that they can go to that’s all news, which will give us, hopefully, the ability to dramatically increase the distribution, and if it is successful the monetization to high-quality participants in the ecosystem,” Zuckerberg told Döpfner.

People familiar with the proposal told The Journal news outlets remain skeptical of this new project.

“It’s asking a whole lot of publishers in terms of asking us to commit to something that none of us have any idea if it’s going to work,” one person said.

This is Facebook’s latest attempt to curb misinformation on its platform. In April, the company outlined a plan to manage problematic content on its apps, including Instagram.

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“This involves removing content that violates our policies, reducing the spread of problematic content that does not violate our policies and informing people with additional information so they can choose what to click, read or share,” the Facebook newsroom post read.

Facebook declined to give a comment to The Western Journal, saying, “We’re not sharing details on the news tab yet.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith