09:00 GMT08 August 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Facebook will attempt to capitalize on a demand for more local news by investing $300 million over the next three years to help journalists and newsrooms collect information and develop business plans, the social media company announced in a press release on Tuesday.

    "There are two key areas where we hope to help: supporting local journalists and newsrooms with their newsgathering needs in the immediate future; and helping local news organizations build sustainable business models, through both our product and partnership work," the release said.

    This year, Facebook will spend $20 million to expand a pilot project called Accelerator in both the United States and Europe, the release said. The effort involves developing subscription and membership models.

    The social media company also plans a $5 million gift to the Pulitzer Center for a project to give reporting grants to local newsrooms to report on topics impacting their respective communities, the release added.

    Facebook's move into journalism philanthropy comes at a time of growing anger in Congress and calls for government regulation of the social media giant from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

    READ MORE: Senior Slant? Americans Over 65 Share Most Fake News on Facebook — Study

    Democrats blame Facebook, in part, for President Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, while Republicans accuse Facebook of censoring conservative writers for innocuous comments while doing little to police liberal opinions, as well as radical Islamist messaging.

    READ MORE: Facebook Moderators Rely on Inaccurate, Outdated Docs to Check Content — Reports

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