Facebook hiring journalists to curate its new News Tab

An illustration picture taken on March 22, 2018 in Paris shows a close-up of the Facebook logo in the eye of an AFP collaborator posing while she looks at a flipped logo of Facebook. (AFP / Christophe Simon)
Updated 21 August 2019

Facebook hiring journalists to curate its new News Tab

  • A human team will select relevant, reliable breaking and top news stories
  • Facebook to pay some publishers to license news content for the tab

SAN FRANCISCO, US: Facebook on Tuesday confirmed plans for a News Tab that will be edited by seasoned journalists, in a departure from its longstanding practice of letting algorithms dictate a user’s experience.
A human team will select relevant, reliable breaking and top news stories.
Other sections of the tab will rely on algorithms to figure out a user’s interests based on “signals” such as pages followed, interactions with online news or subscriptions to publications.
“Our goal with the News Tab is to provide a personalized, highly relevant experience for people,” Facebook head of news partnerships Campbell Brown told AFP.
“For the Top News section of the tab we’re pulling together a small team of journalists to ensure we’re highlighting the right stories.”
However the majority of stories people see will be determined by software, according to Brown.
The tab would be separate from the trademark news feed at Facebook that displays updates and content from people’s friends.
Facebook Watch already allows users to peruse news shows funded by the social network and other on-demand online content.
California-based Facebook has launched an array of initiatives to support or bolster journalism in recent years as social media has been under intense pressure to avoid becoming a tool to spread misinformation.
“Working with news industry to get Facebook’s News Tab right is our goal and focus this year,” Brown said earlier this month in a tweet.
“Still early days but we are getting tremendous partner feedback on the product. I believe we can provide people on Facebook a better news experience.”
Facebook will reportedly pay some publishers to license news content for the tab.
Earlier this year Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he wanted “to make sure that to the extent that we can, we’re funding as much high-quality journalism as possible.”


Qatar’s BeIN chairman, two others indicted in bribery case

Updated 20 February 2020

Qatar’s BeIN chairman, two others indicted in bribery case

  • Former FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke charged with accepting bribes, among others
  • Al-Khelaifi charged with inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement

GENEVA: Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was charged Thursday by Swiss federal prosecutors in connection with a wider bribery investigation linked to World Cup television rights.

The office of Switzerland’s attorney general filed an indictment charging Al-Khelaifi with inciting former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke “to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.”

The Qatari football and television executive, however, no longer faces an accusation of bribery. Following a three-year investigation, FIFA reached an “amicable agreement” with Al-Khelaifi last month, prosecutors said, to drop its criminal complaint relating to the awarding of 2026 and 2030 World Cup rights to Qatari broadcaster BeIN Sports.

Al-Khelaifi is the head of Doha-based BeIN Sports and also a member of the UEFA executive committee.

Al-Khelaifi was indicted for his alleged part in providing Valcke — who had influence over the awarding of World Cup rights until being removed from office in 2015 — with use of a luxury villa in Sardinia without paying rent valued at up to €1.8 million ($1.94 million).

Valcke was charged with accepting bribes, “several counts of aggravated criminal mismanagement … and falsification of documents.”

For the first time in the five-year investigation of FIFA business, Swiss prosecutors revealed that they believe Valcke received kickbacks totaling €1.25 million to steer World Cup rights toward favored broadcasters in Italy and Greece.

A third person who was not identified was charged with bribery over those payments and also for inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.

Al-Khelaifi was appointed to the UEFA executive committee, representing European football clubs, one year ago despite being implicated in the bribery case. He is also an influential board member of the European Club Association, which is seeking to drive reforms in the Champions League to favor elite clubs such as French champion PSG.

He denied wrongdoing after being questioned in 2017 and 2019 in connection with criminal proceedings opened three years ago.

Al-Khelaifi has also been implicated in a separate corruption investigation by French prosecutors that is linked to Qatar seeking hosting rights for the track and field world championships. Doha hosted the 2019 edition.