Facebook Training and Support Is Coming to a Local Newsroom Near You

Local networks are being established with the Knight Foundation, the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, the Detroit Journalism Cooperative and Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media

Facebook is teaming up with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation on a pilot project to bring training and support from the social network directly into the newsrooms of local and nonprofit news organizations.

Local networks are being established with the Knight Foundation, the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, the Detroit Journalism Cooperative and Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media, and Josh Mabry and Dorrine Mendoza, who work on news partnerships for Facebook, said in a blog post that the initial participants in the pilot project are local and community newsrooms that are part of the LION, INN and Detroit Journalism Cooperative networks, as well as major metropolitan news organizations that are part of the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, including:

  • The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Houston Chronicle
  • The Miami Herald
  • The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  • The Dallas Morning News
  • The San Jose Mercury News
  • The Seattle Times
  • The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Mabry and Mendoza offered more details on the mission of the pilot project:

These collaborations will be conducted through online and in-person meetings and are meant to increase and encourage peer-to-peer learning and provide the foundations for a course curriculum on Facebook audience engagement and local news, which will benefit newsrooms at scale across the U.S. and beyond. At the conclusion, we hope to jointly publish case studies and a final report with recommendations for future investment.

Knight Foundation vice president for journalism Jennifer Preston said in the blog post:

Local news is the bedrock for informed and engaged communities. We’re excited that Facebook—through listening, training and collaborating with local journalists—is bringing the potential of that platform into an area where it can have such a large, positive impact on American society.

Lenfest Institute for Journalism director of innovation projects Burt Herman added:

The Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative is working actively with Facebook to help audience growth and engagement at several of America’s largest metropolitan dailies. Facebook will be working hands-on with eight premiere news organizations. These publishers already make very active use of social media, but the Facebook initiative is designed to advance our effectiveness through stronger use of data, tools and best practices. We appreciate the cutting-edge support. We continue to believe that high-quality local news makes Facebook more useful and engaging, just as Facebook makes our news more shareable and accessible to new audiences.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.