Today we are pleased to announce a AU$5 million investment in the Australian news ecosystem as part of our ongoing support for the industry. This follows last month’s commitment to support journalists, academics and news organisations across the globe to advance journalism and help develop sustainable business models.
Our commitment will include a partnership with the Walkley Foundation to bring the Facebook Journalism Project News Accelerator to Australia. This program provides training, coaching and project funding for news organisations, to help them connect with — and monetise — their audiences both on and off Facebook. The program will launch in Australia later this year and will host teams from newsrooms who will build on the expertise and best practices developed during our pilot U.S. accelerators in 2018. Similar to our program in the U.S., participants will work with program coaches and then design individual projects that tackle their unique business needs. Funding, administered by the Walkley Foundation, will empower each publisher to implement solutions that will help grow their business.
In addition to the accelerator, we are furthering our support of Australia’s journalism community through sponsorship of the Walkley Awards and the Foundation’s mid-year celebration that showcases courage, independence, creativity and emerging talent in Australian journalism. We are also contributing to the Foundation’s upcoming media literacy pilot program for Australian secondary school students.
Walkley Foundation CEO Louisa Graham said, “The Walkley Foundation for journalism welcomes this commitment to Australian news as part of Facebook’s wider support for the global news industry. We work to celebrate and encourage great journalism, and to help all Australians recognise its power to make our nation and our society stronger. We look forward to working with Facebook to boost school students’ media literacy skills and newsroom innovation in 2019 and beyond.”
Facebook is also proud to partner with the newly formed Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom (AJF) to support its work to promote media freedom in the Asia-Pacific region and the right of journalists to report news safely.
Professor Peter Greste, Director of AJF said, “I welcome the Facebook Journalism Project’s generous support for the Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom. With media freedom increasingly under assault across the region, this partnership is incredibly timely. It will help the Alliance support and advocate for journalists throughout the Asia Pacific, so they can report and investigate freely and safely.”
In the months ahead, we will also be supporting our news partners with seed funding to experiment with video.
We believe society is best served by a robust, diverse and sustainable media industry. As a committed partner in the Australian ecosystem, we will continue to support journalists and news organisations in their important work.