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 the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

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!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

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!

Zuckerberg speaks at the annual F8 summit. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to convince journalists Tuesday that the company is committed to boosting trusted news outlets and supporting journalism as a whole, but didn’t give much reassurance that individual outlets would recoup lost revenue or traffic.

The big picture: The tension is growing between Facebook and media as it controls a large portion of digital ads and is a primary news distributor, but doesn't help newsrooms recoup dwindling revenue. And recent News Feed algorithm changes resulted in a dramatic drop — an average of 20%, Zuckerberg says — of Facebook-generated traffic to media sites.

What he said: In an interview with media leaders, organized by The Information, Zuckerberg said Facebook has a responsibility to help sustain journalism and prioritize trusted news organizations.

A few key points:

  • Facebook will rely on its "community” to decide what's trustworthy.
  • His goal in helping to better inform users is to ultimately build “common ground."
  • The News Feed, he argues, provides a greater diversity of opinions than the person would get by reading a newspaper or watching a cable channel.
  • Facebook needs to be “more about interacting with people and less about consuming news." Photos and life updates are really what users are there to see, he said.

Yes, but: Many journalists in the meeting felt those points revealed misunderstandings about how the news media works.

  • Zuckerberg said many news organizations have an opinion. Many news outlets, however, strive to provide objective information without bias, outside of their editorial sections.
  • He repeatedly emphasized that trusted news will foster "common ground." But common ground, which is often based on opinion or shared experiences, isn't considered the primary goal of news. The goal is to report and synthesize verifiable facts and information.
  • The idea that opinions in your News Feed are proxies for news struck some as a disconnect. "As any journalist can tell you, the best answer to the question 'what happened?' is not why don’t you ask a bunch of your friends what they think, organize their views along a spectrum, and then decide where to plant yourself," writes The Atlantic's Adrienne LaFrance.
  • He argued only a "small minority portion" of people come to Facebook to consume news. But, two-thirds of Americans get at least some of their news from social media.

Be smart: Zuckerberg seemed genuine in wanting to play a role in helping news organizations — particularly investigative journalism — survive. But he gave no details on how Facebook's current business model would support that, and flat-out rejected the idea of paying publishers a licensing fee for content (like cable channels do).

The bottom line: Facebook and news organizations have a strained, yet symbiotic, relationship. But the two industries' business models are far from aligned, and the awkward dance between them is far from over.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

The bomb cyclone and atmospheric river seen via satellite on Sunday. The center of the storm is at the middle of the comma shape, due west of Washington State. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Sen. Joe Manchin at the U.S. Capitol in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.