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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the tech giant may actually begin paying news publishers to distribute their content, and it may do so in a new, dedicated tab for quality news on its site and app.

Why it matters: Until now, Facebook hasn't paid publishers to distribute their content, but rather has given them the platform to reach millions of people and make advertising dollars off of those eyeballs. The economics of that deal haven't panned out for publishers, causing a trust fallout between the news community and Facebook.

For clarity, Facebook has paid publishers in the past to create news products. It shelled out millions of dollars for publishers to create video news for its video tab "Watch," and it had previously paid publishers to create live video content for Facebook Live — but those efforts are different than licensing the content for distribution.

Details: "Facebook could potentially have a direct relationship with publishers in order to make sure that their content is available, if it's really high-quality content," Zuckerberg said in a video conversation with Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer, the largest publisher in Europe. 

Zuckerberg laid out three core principles for how he would roll out the effort, which includes a business model and news ecosystem to support a quality news tab:

  1. Don't operate in a vacuum: Zuckerberg said he wants to build the news destination input from others, like experts in publishing, journalism, etc.
  2. Make monetization work: He wants to have a direct relationship with publishers in order to potentially build service that pays for high-quality journalism.
  3. Foster a healthy new ecosystem: He says Facebook wants to foster an ecosystem where new forms of journalism, including independent journalism, can thrive.

The big picture: Facebook's struggle to create a way for quality news and information to thrive on its platform has taken a toll on the public conversation.

  • For years, Facebook's News Feed allowed misinformation or low-quality news sources to have the same kind of reach as quality news publishers, which created a polarizing news environment on Facebook.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Maersk CEO: Global businesses should be wary of politics

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

The CEO of the world's largest container-shipping company cautions that international firms have to be careful of taking political stances.

  • What they're saying: "We cannot run a global business if we start to have views on politics in every single country that we are in," Maersk CEO Søren Skou tells "Axios on HBO."
Mike Allen, author of AM
13 mins ago - Economy & Business

Chamber of Commerce CEO Suzanne Clark defends overture to Democrats

U.S. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Suzanne Clark told me on "Axios on HBO" that the business group was right to endorse vulnerable House Democrats last year, despite the flak that resulted from Republicans.

  • Clark, who took over the top job in March, said those House Democrats "had really helped push business's number one priority, which was the free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, over the finish line."
  • "All of the Republicans that we work with on tax, on regulation — those people are really, really important to us," she added: "So we have to be willing to have a different coalition on every issue."

Top nuclear watchdog: "We are flying blind" without Iran deal

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency tells "Axios on HBO" that it's "essential" to have a nuclear deal with Iran because otherwise "we are flying blind."

Driving the news: Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi sat down with "Axios on HBO" at IAEA headquarters in Vienna, ahead of Iran's June 18 presidential election and a June 24 extension on negotiations seeking to restore curtailed surveillance of Iranian nuclear sites and salvage the 2015 deal.

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