Facebook will spend $5 million to pay local reporters as part of its new platform for independent writers, Reuters was first to report Thursday.
Priority will go to reporters focused on "Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian or other audiences of color" in areas that already lack coverage, Reuters reports. The initiative is focused on journalists "who are often the lone voice covering a given community."
The initiative is part of Facebook's new self-publishing platform for journalists, which includes the ability for writers to to send out newsletters. The company has for many years had frosty relationships with news outlets that blame it for plunging revenue in the media sector.
Facebook evidently hopes to capitalize on a recent trend toward independent journalism. In recent months, several well-known journalists have left outlets such as the New York Times or The Verge to try their hand at running their own subscription newsletters. Often flocking to platforms such as Substack, they aim to monetize their popularity among readers, becoming something of a new class of independent online creators.