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Esteban Felix / AP

Facebook announced a new initiative Wednesday called the "Facebook Journalism Project" that aims to strengthen its relationship with the news industry.

What's in it:

  • Testing new storytelling formats: Facebook will begin testing packages of stories within Instant Articles so readers can see multiple stories from the same news outlet at the same time.
  • Free resources for journalists: Facebook will now conduct a series of free "e-learning courses" on Facebook products and tools for journalists. They will also offer journalists free CrowdTangle subscriptions for social media monitoring. They will also begin trainings for local newsrooms through non-profit news organizations and academia.
  • More resources to curb fake news: They announced another program to work with third-party fact checkers to identify hoaxes on Facebook. They also announced partnerships with non-profits and academia to help promote news literacy.

Smart take: Technology companies are typically averse to acknowledging their role in media distribution, as it forces them to consider a public good as opposed to profit.

But there is likely a business motive behind this. Advertisers won't continue to place a premium on data being driven by social platforms that enable misleading news. According to North 6th Agency CEO Matt Rizzetta, Facebook's move draws a clear line between major social media entities and traditional media influencers using their platform.

Why this matters: Theres going to be a greater premium placed on speed for traditional publishers. According to Rizetta, "Mainstream media will need to counter Facebook's news quality with expediency."

We hear you, Mark: This is the third major move announcement Facebook has rolled out in a month to help filter for better news quality. Last month, they announced a fact-checking initiative with the likes of AP and Politifact. Then they announced last week that they're hiring former NBC and CNN news anchor Campbell Brown to head up the inaugural News Partnership Team.

Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.