Facebook to invest over R7.2m in African newsrooms during Covid-19 pandemic

05 May 2020 - 05:40 By Unathi Nkanjeni
The Facebook Journalism Project is investing about R7.2m on supporting African journalists in covering the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Facebook Journalism Project is investing about R7.2m on supporting African journalists in covering the Covid-19 pandemic.
Image: 123RF/twindesign

Facebook is doing its share to support newsrooms in SA and across the continent during these unprecedented times.

The popular social network, under its journalism project, announced on Monday that it was investing $390,000 (about R7.2m) to support the country's newsroom during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of these funds, Facebook will work with the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), a non-profit organisation that will provide $140,000 (R2.6m) to South African publishers.

An additional $250,000 (R4.6m) will go to a video training programme for 10,000 journalists across the continent covering Covid-19 through video reporting.

Jocelyne Muhutu Remy, Facebook Africa's strategic media partnerships manager, said the news industry was working under extraordinary conditions to keep people informed during the 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,” she said.

“We’re working with our partners and the industry to understand their needs, which includes support to help them continue creative, innovative and impactful storytelling.”

Johanna Carrillo, the centre's vice-president of programmes, said sub-Saharan Africa’s newsrooms play a key role in informing the public in a highly vulnerable region.

“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,” she said.


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