The State of Local News, the survival of democracy and the local community
Note, this video is a long, comprehensive look at the survival of local community news, which is something that is of significant importance to the health of the natation. Facebook and Google state they are investing money over the next few years, as the article from Associated Press below explains, to help local news organizations.
Is this a sincere effort to help local communities, or just another way for these big companies to conquer a new segment of the market? It is expensive, and thus more difficult to gather local news. People have become accustomed to getting their news for free on the internet. Will they ever pay for local news? It seems the companies with all the money are best positioned to decide how this plays out. They have the money to start their own 21st century news gathering and publishing it wherever they want. They already have the users. They have already been use to local papers giving away their content for views on Facebook and Google, and didn't realize the error in this model until it was almost too late.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next two years. Newspapers have begun locking down their e-news sites by limiting how many articles can be read, and putting up a paywall when that has been exceeded. It seems Facebook and Google are trying to appear benevolent, but the word in this heading is "Invest", not gift or help. Invest implies these large corporations are expecting a return on investment. Based on how they have already lied to congress about data sharing, Shadow Banninig, and click counts, take this news with a boatload of skepticism.
Facebook to Invest $300 Million in local newspapers
NEW YORK (AP) - Facebook says it is investing $300 million over the next three years in local news programs, partnerships and other initiatives.
The money will go toward reporting grants for local newsrooms, expanding Facebook's program to help local newsrooms with subscription business models and investing in nonprofits aimed at supporting local news.
The move comes at a difficult time for the news industry, which is facing falling profits and print readership. Facebook, like Google, has also been partly blamed for the ongoing decline in newspapers' share of advertising dollars as people and advertisers have moved online.
Campbell Brown, Facebook's head of global news partnerships, acknowledges the company "can't uninvent the internet," but says it wants to work with publishers to help them succeed on and off the social network.