Facebook just dealt another potentially lethal blow to local journalism

Facebook will pay some publishers millions of dollars a year for access to their journalism. It will include an all-star lineup of what Facebook referred to as trusted sources, including CNN, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, Bloomberg, Fox Business, Business Insider, NPR, the Boston Globe and the LA Times, to name a few. (Facebook also deemed far-right web site Breitbart as a trusted source, which has sparked some controversy).


Newsrooms that covered city hall, rogue developments, the people in a community, the local fabric and served as everyday watchdogs have been unable to survive the digital change. I am not talking about the fabled legacy brands that have been thankfully resuscitated and turned digital by wealthy philanthropists like the LA Times, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Washington Post. They will likely survive and prosper with this new aggregation model. It’s the other 2,000-plus cities and towns in America with no newsroom left to cover them that I worry about. —Heidi Legg, CNN Business

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