Photo Illustration by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook says it is spending $100 million to support news outlets around the world that have been impacted by the coronavirus, the company said Monday.

Why it matters: Whatever Facebook's motivation, this is a much-needed cash infusion at a critical time for the local news industry.

Yes, but: While $25 million will be given to local news organizations in the U.S. as grants, the other $75 million is being funneled to news organizations in need globally through Facebook marketing, or ad space Facebook is purchasing to market itself from those outlets.

  • The new grants will be made through Facebook's new COVID-19 Community Network grant program, which Facebook first debuted two weeks ago.
  • The Post and Courier in South Carolina, the Southeast Missourian, and El Paso Matters in Texas will be among some of the first recipients of the grants.

Between the lines: The investment builds on a previously-announced $300 million commitment from Facebook through its Facebook Journalism Project to invest in news efforts, especially local news.

  • It also builds on a recently-announced $2 million investment to support newsrooms and fact-checkers that aim to promote quality information about the coronavirus.

Be smart: It's in Facebook's best interest to invest in news, particularly at the local level.

  • Facebook's business model is contingent on people sharing news and updates about their communities, but the tech giant said last year that there isn't enough digital local news across the U.S. for its users to share.
  • Some policymakers and news trade groups have grown increasingly frustrated with Silicon Valley over the past few years for leveraging its dominance in ways that make it difficult for news publishers to turn a profit.

The big picture: Tech and media companies are throwing millions of dollars at journalism and small businesses initiatives during this time of crisis.

  • Google said Friday it's donating $800 million in cash and ads to fight the coronavirus.
  • Facebook said last week it's giving out $100 million in grants to help small businesses during the coronavirus.
  • Yelp said last week it will give $25 million to help local businesses survive the coronavirus slowdown, primarily via free ad space.
  • Netflix is creating a $100 million relief fund to help members of the creative community struggling from the crisis.
  • WarnerMedia says it's committing more than $100 million to support film and production crews being shut out by the virus.
  • Apple has pledged $15 million to medical and economic relief efforts towards the virus.
  • Twitter said Tuesday that it's donating $1 million to the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Women's Media Foundation ($500,000 each) to support newsrooms while covering the novel coronavirus.

Our thought bubble: While tech giants like Google, Facebook and others are expected to lose billions of advertising dollars this year thanks to economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the losses aren't expected to cripple these companies.

  • Meanwhile, the coronavirus and a pending recession has pushed the local news industry into near collapse at a time when people need access to local news and information more than ever before.

The bottom line: "If people needed more proof that local journalism is a vital public service, they're getting it now," says Campbell Brown, Facebook's VP of global news partnerships, in a statement.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.

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Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China