Facebook, Mozilla, Others Launch $14 Million ‘News Integrity Initiative’ to Advance Digital Literacy

A group of tech industry leaders, academic institutions, and non-profits and other organizations are jointly launching a $14 million fund to support the News Integrity Initiative.

The Initiative is a global consortium focused on helping people make informed judgments about the news they read and share online. Its mission is to advance news literacy, to increase trust in journalism around the world, and to better inform the public conversation.

The founding funders are Facebook, the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks. The Initiative will fund applied research and projects, and convene meetings with industry experts.

“As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we want to give people the tools necessary to be discerning about the information they see online,” said Campbell Brown, Facebook’s Head of News Partnerships. “Improving news literacy is a global concern, and this diverse group assembled by CUNY brings together experts from around the world to work toward building more informed communities.”

The News Integrity Initiative will be run as an independent project by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. The school will coordinate the activities of the News Integrity Initiative, including research, special projects and events.

“By locating the News Integrity Initiative at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, our faculty and students will have a unique opportunity to engage with researchers and technologists, attend events and conduct experiments aimed at building greater trust in our profession,” says CUNY Journalism School Dean Sarah Bartlett. “It’s hard to think of a more important role for a public graduate school of journalism.”

The News Integrity Initiative says it will seek out additional funding and participants in order to fund future research and events.

Fake News is Not Just a Social Media Problem. It’s Also a Traditional Media Problem