Facebook Boosts Newsletter Ambitions With $ 5 Million For Freelance Writers

Substack attracts top journalists and bloggers with large upfront payments at cover their first year on the newsletter platform, but Facebook takes a different approach as it enters the newsletter market. The company has set up a $ 5 million fund pay multi-year license fees to local journalists to help them build audiences and earn a living through its self-publishing platform. The company said it focuses on local journalists “who are often the only voice covering a given community”.

Facebook announced the platform, which allows journalists to create individual websites as well as newsletters, last month. It ties into Facebook Pages, giving writers a way to tap into their existing social media audience with a free self-publishing tool. They will be able to set their own prices for memberships, and there may be other ways for them to earn income.

The company plans to gradually open up access to the tool, initially with a “small subset of freelance writers”. Journalists in the United States can apply starting today. Facebook says it will prioritize those looking to cover “black, indigenous, Latin, Asian or other colored audiences” and writers in areas not covered by media companies.

The International Center of Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists will help Facebook review applications. The company is also committed to providing editors with access to experts and services to help them grow their business.

Many advertisers have given up promoting their businesses in newspapers over the past two decades in favor of serving ads on Facebook, Google and other online platforms. The crater print advertising market has resulted in the closure of many newspapers, causing drought in local news in some markets. Facebook and Google have taken some steps to resolve this issue. They are paid media in Australia (and elsewhere in the case of Google) for their content. Facebook also promised to invest $ 1 billion in the information industry over the next three years.

Meanwhile, Substack announced its own initiative for local journalists this month. He allocated $ 1 million to help up to 30 journalists turn their newsletters into sustainable businesses. Many other companies have jumped into the newsletter space in recent months, including Twitter.

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