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Facebook Is Partnering With Media Organizations to Launch Original News Programs

June 6, 2018, 3:45 PM UTC

Facebook has seen its share of scandals over the last year. One controversy arose after the 2016 election, when many were concerned that misinformation was shared on the social media platform and may have swayed election results. Facebook has taken steps to address its “fake news” problem, and is now launching a series of news programs—in partnership with CNN, ABC, Fox News, and more—on its video service, Watch, CNN Money reported.

Other media organizations joining the venture are Advance Local, Mic, and Univision, and all the projects will be financed by Facebook. The programs will include a mix of breaking news, daily news briefs, and longer-form deep dives.

The new partnership project is headed by Campbell Brown, a former CNN host and NBC News reporter who joined Facebook last year as its head of global news partnerships. “The goal was to begin to experiment with new formats and new ways to engage with an audience that is unique to Facebook,” Brown told CNN Money. Brown said that the point of the project was to “engage people around news, taking advantage of Facebook’s features,” rather than simply taking cuts from TV news and putting them on the social networking site.

CNN’s Facebook Watch program will be hosted by Anderson Cooper, who will go Live on weeknights at 6:25 p.m. ET. Shepard Smith will host the Fox program on weekday afternoons, and Jorge Ramos will travel the country and profile immigration issues on his weekly segment.

The push for more original news programs on Facebook comes amidst the company’s decision to shut down its “Trending News” section, which had previously been accused of censoring conservative news organizations. “We’re removing Trending soon to make way for future news experiences on Facebook,” Alex Hardiman, the company’s head of news products wrote in a blog post on Facebook’s Newsroom. “From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful.”

Once source told CNN Money that Facebook was paying some media organizations seven figures to produce their program for one year. For some news outlets, the push also appears to be another shot for video journalism to survive the digital age.