Australia: Facebook expands Local News Accelerator

The Facebook Journalism Project, which works with publishers around the world through training, has announced the expansion of its Local News Accelerator program to Australia and New Zealand.

The program will launch in partnership with the Walkley Foundation and support 11 publishers for three months to boost direct reader revenue through subscriptions, memberships, and one-off payments.

Participating partners include News Corp, Australian Community Media, The Guardian, The Conversation, Crikey, The West Australian, The New Daily, Schwartz Media, and New Zealand publishers The New Zealand Herald, The Spinoff, and Newsroom.

The Accelerator program provides platform-agnostic training, coaching and project funding for news organisations to connect with and monetise their audiences on and off Facebook.

Louisa Graham, chief executive of the Walkley Foundation, said, “Facebook’s Accelerator Program is designed to support Australian newsrooms in maximising new revenue streams. This will ultimately allow news organisations to continue their important work and report on the issues that matter to Australian society.”

The Australia and New Zealand launch of the Accelerator Program follows hot on the heels of Facebook’s response to the ACCC Digital Platforms Final Report, which saw the social media giant targeted alongside Google. The report, suggested the two tech companies have too much power in the Australian market and have hurt publishers with their monopoly on the digital space.

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