In partnership with the Canadian Journalism Foundation, Facebook's $2.5M program aims to foster innovation and creativity in local news business models

In partnership with the Canadian Journalism Foundation, Facebook’s $2.5M program aims to foster innovation and creativity in local news business models

TORONTOMay 27, 2019 – On Monday, May 27, 2019,  Facebook Canada is launching its Local News Accelerator program and bringing together the first cohort of eleven publishers from across the country participating in the program. As announced in February 2019, the initiative represents a $2.5M investment in Canada’s news ecosystem and is part of Facebook’s ongoing global efforts to support journalists, academics and news organizations across the globe to advance journalism and help develop sustainable business models — both off and on Facebook’s platforms.

The first wave of Local News Accelerator participants includes:

  • Brunswick News
  • Daily Hive
  • Winnipeg Free Press
  • Glacier Media
  • Le Soleil
  • London Free Press
  • Northern News Services
  • The Discourse
  • The Tyee
  • Vancouver Observer
  • Village Media

“Canadians expect relevant, quality news on Facebook and so do we. The Launch of Facebook Local News Accelerator in Canada is one part of our commitment to high-quality, fact-based content across our family of apps,” said Marc Dinsdale, Head of Media Partnerships at Facebook Canada. “We are committed to exploring what we can build together with our partners to support local news, and will continue to invest in local news in Canada.”

Throughout the 12-week program, Facebook is bringing together industry experts and providing tools, resources and training focused on digital audience development, with the goal of helping publishers find new ways to connect with their audiences and creative ways to monetize their businesses. Publishers will design individual projects tackling their unique business needs working with coaches with deep expertise in the digital media business.

The program will culminate in Menlo Park, California where publishers will share their news innovation concepts at Facebook headquarters. Enabling publishers across the country – and beyond – to benefit from the strategies workshopped during the program and will share key learnings and case studies from the first Canadian cohort.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of Facebook’s Local News Accelerator program in Canada and welcome the chance to share insights with our peers from across the country. For more than a decade, Daily Hive has been connecting readers with their city to foster a closer relationship with one another, and we’re constantly working to modernize journalism for the internet,” said Farhan Mohamed, editor-in-chief and partner, Daily Hive. “Having the opportunity to come up with new ways to engage with and develop our audience is something we’re all excited for.”

Grant funding will empower each publisher to implement strategies created during the program. We are partnering with the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) — a non-profit organization that promotes Canadian journalism and journalistic achievement — to administer grants to local news publishers. These grants are designed to help the participating publishers put ideas from the Accelerator into practice.

“From current events to community news and politics, local news publishers provide citizens with the resources and information they need to make critical decisions for themselves and their families,” said Natalie Turvey, president and executive director, CJF. “We are committed to supporting local news innovation, and we’re excited to partner with Facebook and local news publishers to bring this program to life in Canada.”

Broadening their efforts to support news innovation, Facebook is also investing in programs that help publishers develop sustainable business models, both off and on of Facebook, so they can continue to do work that’s critical to a healthy democratic society. The Local News Accelerator program complements ongoing efforts in Canada such as supporting our news partners with seed funding to experiment with video, and training opportunities for journalists across the country.

About Facebook Canada
Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. More than 24 million Canadians use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc. All other brand or product names mentioned may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

About the Facebook Journalism Project
In order to support high-quality journalism, the Facebook Journalism Project works to create strong ties with the news industry by building community through news by training journalists and publishers around the world, and by working with partners to support quality news.

About the Canadian Journalism Foundation
Established in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes, celebrates and facilitates excellence in journalism. The foundation runs a prestigious annual awards and fellowships program featuring an industry gala where news leaders, journalists and corporate Canada gather to celebrate outstanding journalistic achievement and the value of professional journalism. Through monthly J-Talks, a public speakers’ series, the CJF facilitates dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research.