Facebook is looking to help the public during the coronavirus pandemic by putting up money and investing into local news outlets as COVID-19 continues to spread. According to reports, the company is investing $25 million as an emergency relief fund through the Facebook Journalism Project.
An additional $75 million will be spent on marketing for local news outlets.
“Through the COVID-19 Community Network grant program, direct funding is helping journalists cover important stories when we all need them most,” Campbell Brown, the company’s VP Global News Partnerships, wrote online, according to Deadline. “We’re building on this work and will direct a portion of these funds to publishers most in need in the hardest hit countries.”
50 local newsrooms across the United States and Canada will be among the first to receive money through the grants.
You can learn more about the grant program here.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponing of many large events including the NCAA Tournament, Coachella, SXSW, the Winter X Games, Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and more. The NBA, NHL, and MLS have temporarily suspended their seasons.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in China, it has now reached many countries around the world including the United States. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.