Facebook is shelling out $100 million to help news outlets that are taking a revenue hit during the coronavirus.
The tech giant announced a plan on Monday to offer $25 million in emergency grant funding for local news outlets through its Facebook Journalism Project. The remaining $75 million will be funneled to publishers globally through Facebook ad spending.
While the company’s motivations aren’t entirely clear, the move comes as advertisers cut back on spending in the age of COVID-19. Advertising is a critical revenue stream for news media in the U.S.
“The news industry is working under extraordinary conditions to keep people informed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Facebook said in a statement. “At a time when journalism is needed more than ever, ad revenues are declining due to the economic impact of the virus.”
Facebook’s grants are going to publishers that need them the most in the hardest-hit countries in the world, the first round of which went to 50 local newsrooms in the U.S. and Canada.
Advertising revenue for news outlets has been falling for years, and tech giants like Facebook and Google are often credited with causing the shift as they divert money from publishers to themselves.
Google is responding to.the coronavirus crisis by donating $340 million in ad credits to support small and medium-sized businesses, the search giant recently announced.
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