Facebook Invests $390k in South African Newsrooms During COVID-19

Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) has announced that it will invest $390 thousand to help South African news organizations navigate the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

As part of these funds, Facebook will work with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), a non-profit organisation with a history of working with publishers across the world.

ICFJ will provide $140,000 in these grants to South African publishers, as well as a $250,000 video training programme for 10,000 journalists across the continent covering COVID-19 through video reporting.

“The news industry is working under extraordinary conditions to keep people informed during the COVID-19 pandemic. As people turn to local journalists for critical information on how to keep their friends, families and communities safe, these journalists are affected especially in the current economic crisis,” says Jocelyne Muhutu Remy, strategic media partnerships manager of Facebook Africa.

“Sub-Saharan Africa’s newsrooms will need to play a key role in informing the public in a highly vulnerable region,” says Johanna Carrillo, ICFJ’s VP of programmes. “With this new grant from the Facebook Journalism Project, we can build on our work together helping newsrooms and publishers in the region at this difficult time.”

This investment builds upon Facebook’s ongoing COVID-19 centred work in South Africa and across the continent which includes launching the Coronavirus Information Center on the platform, as well as COVID-19 Connect, a WhatsApp-based health helpline developed in partnership with the Minister of Health and local Facebook partner, Praekelt.

Edited by Jenna Delport

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