Back in January, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a vow to increase the “time well-spent” on the social media network, in part by increasing the quality of the news that appears on users’ feeds. Today, Facebook announced the first slate of news shows it will fund as part of its improvement effort, some of which debut on July 16th.
In an effort to deliver “trustworthy, informative and local” news, Facebook will air daily briefings and deep coverage by outlets such as ABC News and Attn. The formats and subjects align with the outlets: Mic, for instance, aims to provide “complicated” and “diverse” coverage that highlights the “underrepresented.” Well-known news personalities, such as Anderson Cooper and Jorge Ramos, will also lead their own shows. According to Variety, however, one of the most visible programs will be Fox News’ daily digests, which will air in the morning and the afternoon, including on the weekends.
Ostensibly, the news push encompasses a wide spectrum of ideologies, but the decision to highlight the highly incendiary — and notably misleading — Fox News at such a high frequency is particularly interesting in light of allegations that Facebook “routinely” suppressed conservative news on the platform in 2016. A week after the allegations, Facebook met with top conservative leaders to discuss how the platform disseminates information. In April, Mark Zuckerberg was summoned to appear before Congress to discuss the Cambridge Analytica data leak, and he was grilled by Republican legislators about whether Facebook was censoring conservative viewpoints on the platform. The ubiquity of Fox News in Facebook’s new live stream schedule could be seen as a mea culpa of sorts — or an attempt to address the allegations of bias against conservatives.
Per Variety and Facebook’s own blog post, here are some of the shows that will launch next week:
ABC-owned stations’ “More in Common”: weekly series showcasing bridges being built between people of various races, religions, genders and backgrounds in cities and towns across America.
Bloomberg’s “At What Cost?”: weekly series that takes the week’s biggest headlines and explains how they will affect you, your finances and your future.
BuzzFeed News’ “Profile”: weekly interview show hosted by Audie Cornish of NPR’s “All Thing’s Considered” featuring a different newsmaker each week.
McClatchy’s “The War Within”: 10-part docuseries profiling retired veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan who are helping other vets cope with the effects of PTSD.
NowThis’ “NowThis Morning”: daily news show aimed at millennial viewers.
Tegna’s “An Imperfect Union”: weekly series that brings together two people divided on an issue to collaborate on a community-service project.
ABC News’ “On Location” [wt] is a daily news show with ABC News journalists from around the globe delivering on-the-ground reporting and the top headlines that are driving the day.
Advance Local’s “Chasing Corruption” In Alabama Media Group’s Chasing Corruption’s weekly series, host Ian Hoppe and the Reckon by AL.com team travel across the USA to meet some of America’s toughest watchdog journalists — and the stories of conspiracy, bribery, fraud and more they’ve uncovered.
ATTN:’s “Undivided ATTN:” is a weekly explainer show that breaks down the biggest issue of the week. In 3-5 minute episodes hosted by a rotating cast of social influencers, Undivided ATTN: will provide context on the stories everybody’s talking about.
CNN’s “Anderson Cooper Full Circle” is a daily global brief on the world, M-F evenings featuring Anderson Cooper and a roster of guests. The interactive program will air live from Anderson’s New York City newsroom in mobile-friendly vertical video.
FOX News’ “Fox News Update” will focus on up-to-the minute breaking news and the most compelling stories of the day. FNC’s chief news anchor Shepard Smith will report the latest news each weekday afternoon, with Carley Shimkus updating viewers every morning. Additionally, Abby Huntsman will provide the latest headlines once each morning throughout the weekend.
Mic’s ”Mic Dispatch” reveals the world as we see it: complicated, diverse and full of potential. Mic correspondents on this new, twice-weekly show go beyond the headlines to profile the underrepresented, the problem-solvers and the provocateurs.
Quartz’s “Quartz News” is a visually stunning weekly show, featuring in-depth reporting from around the world. Each episode investigates a story that’s driving the global conversation. Beyond the show itself, Quartz News will cultivate its community through a companion Messenger bot experience that will give followers the opportunity to interact with the show.
Univision’s “Real America with Jorge Ramos” Award-winning journalist, anchor and author Jorge Ramos travels the country to talk to immigrants of diverse backgrounds and situations, delivering a rarely covered view of today’s America from their perspective. Univision will also cover the top stories in Spanish at noon every day on Watch with “Noticiero Univision Edición Digital.”