By Josh Mabry and Dorrine Mendoza, News Partnerships

We regularly visit newsrooms to learn and share, and host journalists from around the world to discuss best practices so that they’re able to discover information on our platform, distribute stories on Facebook, and build and grow audiences around their reporting, as highlighted in the Facebook Journalism Project announcement earlier this year. Today we are excited to announce that a number of local and non-profit news organizations will have an opportunity to participate in a pilot project that delivers Facebook training and support through a partnership with the Knight Foundation. The goal is to help these newsrooms use Facebook to inform and engage their local communities through local networks established with the Knight Foundation, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, Detroit Journalism Cooperative, and Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media.

“Local news is the bedrock for informed and engaged communities,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation’s VP Journalism. “We’re excited that Facebook — through listening, training and collaborating with local journalists — is bringing the potential of that platform into an area where it can have such a large, positive impact on American society,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation’s Vice President for Journalism.

These collaborations will be conducted through online and in-person meetings and are meant to increase and encourage peer-to-peer learning and provide the foundations for a course curriculum on Facebook audience engagement and local news, which will benefit newsrooms at scale across the US and beyond. At the conclusion, we hope to jointly publish case studies and a final report with recommendations for future investment.

Currently the pilot project is focused on local and community newsrooms that are part of the LION, INN, and Detroit Journalism Cooperative networks, as well as several major metropolitan news organization that are part of the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Houston Chronicle, The Miami Herald, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, The San Jose Mercury News, The Seattle Times, and The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

“The Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative is working actively with Facebook to help audience growth and engagement at several of America’s largest metropolitan dailies,” said Burt Herman, Director of Innovation Projects for The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. “Facebook will be working hands-on with eight premiere news organizations. These publishers already make very active use of social media, but the Facebook initiative is designed to advance our effectiveness through stronger use of data, tools, and best practices. We appreciate the cutting-edge support. We continue to believe that high-quality local news makes Facebook more useful and engaging, just as Facebook makes our news more sharable and accessible to new audiences.”

We will share learnings and updates in Facebook’s News, Media and Publishing group and on the Facebook Journalism Project Page.