Feb 13, 2018

Facebook creating news section to guide readers to accurate sources

Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook is experimenting with a news section within Facebook's video platform "Watch," the head of the company's journalism project, Campbell Brown, said at Recode's Code Media conference on Monday.

Why it matters: Facebook's had a rocky relationship with publishers as it has tested, launched, and pulled the plug on many news products that news publishers have relied on for traffic and business decisions. 

  • "We do need a destination for news on the platform....But the fact that we don't have a destination in breaking news moments is kind of crazy. We need to create that. I think its valuable," Brown told Recode's Peter Kafka and Kurt Wagner. 
  • Campbell says this will help guide users to accurate news sources during breaking news. 

Why now: The move comes weeks after Facebook announced it would down rank news in the News Feed and would use survey data from users to determine which publishers are trustworthy and deserve better ranking in the News Feed.  

  • Facebook's Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri says the surveys "aren't a popularity contest."
  • "What we're looking for specifically is publishers trusted by wide variety types of people, readers. ... It's intentionally designed to find what's broadly trusted and what's difficult to game."

Facebook says it doesn't have information on news video monetization in Watch yet.

  • "We're in such early days that we don't know have a plan on this other than that we know we want to do it," says Brown.

Publishers in the past have complained about being bait and switched by Facebook products, like Live and Instant Articles. In response, Brown says Facebook needs to be more transparent.

  • "I don't think we have done a great job in past around setting expectations when we launch a test with a set of partners," she said.
  • We're gonna have to experiment and test and we have to be way more transparent with publishers going in that this may not work out. Jump in with us if you’re ready for a big experiment that might not work. We have not been as open about that as we should’ve been."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,014,673 — Total deaths: 52,973 — Total recoveries: 210,335Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 244,678 — Total deaths: 5,911 — Total recoveries: 9,058Map.
  3. 2020 updates: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus. A federal judge declined to delay Wisconsin's April 7 primary election.
  4. Jobs latest: Coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for all states across the U.S. to issue stay-at-home orders. The FDA will allow blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus.
  8. 1 future thing: In developing countries, consequences of COVID-19 could be deeper and far more difficult to recover from.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokesperson Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief presents a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.

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