As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, Facebook brought together a diverse set of news organizations in Dubai for a ‘News Day’. The full-day event was curated for journalists, newsroom managers, administrators and social media editors in the region, to deepen their partnership and engagement with Facebook.
With audiences now discovering most of their information online, The Facebook Journalism Project is focused on helping the development of a thriving news ecosystem for media organizations and journalists. This program is built on enabling collaborations with news organizations to develop products, learning from journalists about ways Facebook can be a better partner, and working with publishers and educators on how to equip people with the knowledge they need, to be informed readers in the digital age.
Today 164 million people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) access Facebook every month, and 63 million on Instagram, due to which media entities in the region are growing engagement with their audiences online. To ensure localized collaboration with media entities across the region, Facebook has established a media partnerships team led by Fares Akkad, Head of Media Partnerships, MEA and Turkey, who will work closely with media partners to leverage Facebook tools to maximize mutually beneficial objectives and audience experiences.
The team works with entertainment, sports, and news partners Sara Abu Zahra also joins as Head of Strategic Media Partnerships for Entertainment, in MENA and Turkey, with a focus on growing partnerships with influencers and content creators, to help them harness the reach of Facebook and create content that’s relevant to a diverse regional audience.
“Today, people begin their journeys of discover online, and in today’s content-rich world , the sheer volume of information can limit growth opportunities for publishers. The Facebook Journalism Project is a long-term commitment to the media industry, and with events like News Day and the creation of our media partnerships team, we are creating local solutions to challenges the transforming media landscape presents,” said Mr Akkad.
Since launching the Facebook Journalism Project earlier this year, Facebook has worked with over 2,600 publishers around the globe to create dialogue around how they use products and how the platform could make improvements to better support publishers’ needs.