Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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 Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

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

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

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

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: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook users want more local news, Facebook's director of new initiatives Anne Kornblut tells Axios. But the local news ecosystem that Facebook and other platforms have relied on to distribute that content is evaporating.

Why it matters: In an effort to build better communities on its platform, which is both a business and moral objective for Facebook, the company needs to make sure local news on its platform flourishes. But many blame the businesses of big tech companies like Facebook for the fall of the local news ecosystem, creating a complicated trust dynamic.

"When we ask our users about what they want to see on Facebook, local news is their top pick. That's because Facebook as a platform is focused on community and community is local."
— Kornblut

The big picture: Facebook faces one of its biggest challenges yet in that it needs to help rebuild a broken local news ecosystem, even if that means helping local news companies survive off of Facebook.

  • "The challenge is, if we don't help whole ecosystem build and produce together, we won’t solve local news issue. It's bigger than us or any one outlet," says Kornblut.

Facebook has pledged to donate $300 million to journalism causes over the next 3 years. Many of those causes go towards supporting local journalism and journalism non-profits, like the Knight Foundation, which it's partnering with to host a local news conference called "Accelerate" in March.

Yes, but: Critics argue that those efforts could be coming too late, given that the collapse of the local news ecosystem is well underway and that Facebook has a business.

  • Major newspaper holding groups like Gannett and McClatchy have experienced hundreds of layoffs over the past few weeks. There's been net loss since 2004 of almost 1,800 local newspapers across the country, according to one estimate.
  • Kornblut argues that it took the company time to realize how problematic the situation was. "I think that over time what has become clearer is what the absence local news done to communities, and it's become even more important to us."

The bottom line: After years of different policies impacting news companies, Facebook now realizes it needs to invest in local news to make sure the interactions on its platform are as meaningful, and therefor engaging as possible.

Go deeper

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Podcasts

Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck

President Biden has said that getting Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 is his administration’s top priority given an initial rollout plagued by organizational, logistical and technical glitches.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the bottlenecks and how to unclog them with Carbon Health chief executive Eren Bali, whose company recently began helping to manage vaccinations in Los Angeles.