Meta has awarded grants totaling $29.4 million to 564 news organizations as part of its Meta Journalism Project (MJP), The Tow Center determined in a tally of initiatives.
The direct funding was made via 17 MJP programs.
The Tow Center has centralized information on the grants in a new database, according to Columbia Journalism Review.
The total amounts received from Meta ranged from $5,000 to six-figure sums received by the Boston Globe and others. The median amount received was $25,000, but 239 outlets received just $5,000, CJR continues.
The top overall beneficiaries have been:
“Centralizing this data and making it publicly accessible matters. Oversight of one of the world’s most influential social media companies involves following the money,” Columbia Journalism Review writes. “While Meta has frequently promoted its investments into local journalism, tracing this funding has been surprisingly difficult: there are no disclosure requirements and Meta does not keep a public register of payments that researchers and journalists can scrutinize.”
CJR continues, “This is especially relevant as platforms—particularly Meta and Google—lobby against Canada’s Online News Act, or Bill C-18, which might force platforms to enter into agreements with Canadian news publishers regarding news content made available on social feeds.”
When announcing a $300 million program to support news organizations in 2019, Meta's then-vice president of Global News Partnerships, wrote, “People want more local news, and local newsrooms are looking for more support."