Meta announces closure of its Community News Project

  • 11 Sep 2023

Community news reporters across publishers face cuts to their training and studies following news Facebook will no longer provide funding.

Commenting on the announcement, Séamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, said:

“News of Meta’s decision to cease funding the Community News Project will come as a blow to dedicated journalists reliant on funding to ensure the completion of their studies with qualifications achieved. Whilst the NUJ welcomes news that contracts of existing reporters will be honoured, it is wholly unacceptable that many journalists will now complete only half their training as committed funding is abruptly withdrawn.

“The closure of the Facebook News tab will remove local journalism trusted by audiences for local, accessible content whilst withholding much-needed income for publishers whose content is widely used on the platform. Compounding this will be reduced staffing levels publishers must address in some newsrooms to avoid the damning impact of increased stress levels and worsening mental health. Through its action, Meta sends a damning message about its commitment to ensuring reliable, accurate news is available on Facebook.

“Ensuring the sustainability of journalism is dependent on talented student journalists keen on working within our industry. The NUJ is supporting members affected by this news, many of whom form approximately 100 reporters currently part of the scheme and now left out in the cold."

NUJ members seeking support should contact [email protected] for assistance.

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