Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
34 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Higher education expands its climate push

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.