By Mark Zuckerberg, New York Times
When reporters at The Minnesota Star Tribune discovered that infant deaths had significantly increased in the state’s child care facilities, they published a series of articles that ended up driving changes in the law. They won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013 — and within months the infant mortality rate had dropped. As someone married to a pediatrician and committed to investing in solving health challenges, I found this to be a powerful example of how journalism can help us make progress on our biggest issues.
I know what it’s like to be the subject of reporting. I did my first interview at 19, and while I’ve gotten a little better at talking to journalists, people tell me I’m still not exactly a natural. Over the past 15 years, I’ve seen how the news has held Facebook accountable when we’ve made mistakes. This can be uncomfortable, but as I often tell Facebook’s employees, this kind of scrutiny is important: Facebook is part of so many people’s lives, and we have a responsibility to engage with good-faith criticism and use it to get better. Newspapers have broken important stories that have changed the way we operate, and ultimately that’s better not only for our company, but also for society.
Great journalism surfaces stories that wouldn’t have otherwise been uncovered, and it establishes the ground truth that helps us make progress on important issues. It also holds the powerful accountable. A free press is critical to a healthy democracy, and we need to support the journalists and publishers who do this critical work.