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A local newspaper box after Hurricane Michael. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook wants to deliver more local news, but there aren't enough local news outlets across the U.S. to do so, according to research the platform released Monday morning in conjunction with four academic researchers.

Why it matters: Facebook and rival Google have shouldered blame for creating local news deserts by upending the business models of small, local newspapers. Now, the tech giant wants to invest heavily to reverse that trend in order to provide users with the local news they crave.

By the numbers: 1 in 3 users in the U.S. live in places where Facebook cannot find enough local news on Facebook to launch "Today In," its local news section, which has been rolled out in 40 cities across the country so far.

  • In the last 28 days, there has not been a single day when Facebook has been able to find five or more recent local news articles directly related to the impacted towns.
  • Facebook says this problem is consistent across regions: 35% of users in the Midwest, Northeast, and South — and 26% in the West — live in places where they can't find much local news in their feeds.

Details: Facebook has partnered with four leading academics in news research, providing them with the raw data set to create solutions to solve the crisis.

  • One of the academics Facebook is partnering with is Penny Abernathy, the UNC School of Media and Journalism's Knight chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics. She is the author of the original report that the Facebook research is modeled after.

Flashback: Anne Kornblut, Facebook's director of new initiatives, told Axios last month, "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."

The bottom line: Facebook is investing heavily to try to fix this problem, but the problem is bigger than the platform.

  • It's poured millions of dollars into local "Accelerator" programs that help local outlets find long-term business solutions, even if they have nothing to do with Facebook. And it'll host a conference in Denver tomorrow with the Knight Foundation to bring local news companies together to find solutions.

Go deeper: Facebook's local news conundrum

Go deeper

FAA clears more planes after 5G fears

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday it had approved nearly 80% of the U.S. commercial fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports with new 5G services after fears of signal interference limited 5G rollout.

Why it matters: The FAA approvals will help provide more certainty after the agency raised fears that 5G signals could reduce the accuracy of certain equipment, known as radio altimeters, that helps planes land and take off in inclement weather.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton stock tanks on report of production halt

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Peloton stock fell by as much as 25% on Thursday, following a CNBC report that the connected fitness company will temporarily halt production on its bikes and treadmills.

Why it matters: Peloton is viewed by many as a proxy for consumer behavior in the pandemic era, as its popularity surged when gyms closed and people wanted to exercise at home.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker