Facebook has opened applications for its new $15 million Australian News Fund, which will see the social media giant invest in public-interest journalism, and support regional and digital newsroom innovation and economic sustainability.
First announced in August, the news fund will be divided between two funds; The Newsroom Sustainability Fund and The Public Interest Journalism Fund over three years.
The Newsroom Sustainability Fund will also allocate AU$2.5 million per year, in grants of up to AU$250,000 to fund newsroom products and revenue-related projects. Priority will be given to entrants that are based in a regional area, or serving local communities, or digital-only publications.
The Public Interest Journalism Fund, will also allocate AU$2.5 million per year, providing grants of up to AU$120,000, to invest in public interest journalism and encourage media diversity. It will support small, regional newsrooms and independent journalists, as well as newsrooms covering under-served communities.
Eligible Australian-based newsrooms and journalists can apply to either or both funds under the Facebook Australian News Fund. The Walkley Foundation will nominate an independent external judging committee to review applications against the funds’ eligibility criteria, which includes whether or not the project contributes to the news organisation’s long-term viability or provides a public benefit.
Applications for the two funds close on November 26, 2021. Winners will be announced before the end of March 2022.
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