NMA CEO Responds To Meta’s Defunding Of Community News Project and Facebook News
In response to Meta’s decision today to end funding of the Community News Project and dedicated Facebook News tab, News Media Association chief executive, Owen Meredith, has said:
“We are extremely disappointed to learn of the decision made by Meta today to terminate funding of the Community News Project and Facebook News in the UK.
“CNP launched in 2018, to much fanfare from Meta (formerly Facebook), with the scheme rightly recognising the importance of local news and how ‘Facebook plays an important role in how people get their news’.
“The collaboration between Meta, NCTJ, and local publishers has since been seen as a welcome injection of cash into frontline reporting, recognising the immense value of trusted, authoritative sources of local news to Facebook audiences.
“Separately, the launch of the News Partnership in the UK claimed: ‘Facebook is committed to supporting news organisations as they adapt to the changing digital world.’¹ This partnership saw the launch of the dedicated News Tab, which aimed to ensure audiences had access to reliable news and journalism.
“Sadly, this latest decision comes as little surprise, considering the news blackouts we have seen Meta enforcing in Canada and Australia. Meta continues to exploit its dominant position, reaping the benefits of news content on their platforms without adequately compensating the publishers that invest in it. This behaviour will continue to deprive the hard-working newsrooms who invest in creating journalism of the recognition and remuneration they sorely deserve – unless we act fast.
“This is why the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill, currently before parliament, is so vital. The Bill must reset the balance of power in the online ecosystem and create fair terms, levelling the playing field between platforms and publishers. Parliament should now move swiftly to pass the Bill.
“If Meta truly believes, as they stated just 18 months ago, that ‘local newspapers are the lifeblood of communities’ then they should be acting to support – and not undermine – the sustainability of journalism in the UK. Sadly, as we have seen today, actions speak louder than words.”