Facebook Funding for News Shows from ABC News, CNN, Fox News and Others

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Social networking giant Facebook has announced Wednesday that it is foraying into funding journalism with an initial series of video news programs that will be aired in a dedicated section of Watch. Watch is the original video content initiative that Facebook has launched last year. With this announcement Facebook makes it clear that it is producing exclusive shows for Facebook by news publishers.

Campbell Brown, Facebook’s Head of News Partnerships, said in a blog post that this effort will help them in testing the destination of timely and high quality news content on its platform. He earlier said that the launch will help in prioritizing meaningful social interaction over publisher content. While the announcement has taken a toll on digital publishers, Brown has reminded about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s reasoning on the move reiterating that despite the news in user’s feed being less, whatever remains in the feed will be more informative, local and trustworthy.

This news comes at a time when Facebook is working on shutting down its Trending Topics section which was a frequent subject of controversy since its launch in the year 2014 because of allegations on misinformation and political bias. Despite being run by a team of curators, Facebook’s Trending Topics section was taken over by an automated system in 2016 in response to Gizmodo’s reports that they suppressed conservative world views and also altered the trending lists.

While the news shows are actually being funded by Facebook, they will be produced by outside media organisations. Among the shows that will be aired on Watch from this summer, and will run for at least a year, include:

CNN – ‘Anderson Cooper Full Circle’ – This is a global brief program that will run in the evenings from Monday to Friday. The program will feature a roster of guests with Anderson Coopper.

Fox News – ‘Fox News Update’ – The program covers breaking news alerts, trending articles and US and World News together with opinion pieces on politics. It features news anchors including Shepard Smith, Carley Shimkus and Abby Huntsman.

ABC News – ‘On Location’ – A daily news show that focuses on trending topics with live team coverage tracking all the latest headlines.

Advance Local – Chasing Corruption’ – A weekly series where host Ian Hoppe and the team of Reckon by AL.com travel across the United States to meet the nation’s most toughest watchdog journalists and learn about the stories that they have uncovered on fraud, bribery and conspiracy.

ATTN: – ‘Undivided ATTN:’ – This is a weekly show which includes 3-4 minute episodes on the biggest issues of the week. It has a rotating cast of social influencers providing context stories that everyone is talking about.

Mic – ‘Mic Dispatch’ – The show reveals complicated, diverse and full of potential events around the world. Mic correspondents on this new, twice-weekly show go beyond the headlines to profile the underrepresented, the problem-solvers and the provocateurs.

Univision – ‘Real America with Jorge Ramos – This show has Jorge Ramos, anchor, author and an award-winning journalist, travel across the country talking to immigrants of diverse backgrounds and situations, delivering a rarely covered view of today’s America from their perspective.