A crazy idea for funding local news: Charge people for it

Credit Doug Chayka

By Farhad Manjoo | The New York Times

You could almost hear the trumpets blaring in the background of Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement last week that Facebook would now promote local news stories in its News Feed.

“People who know what’s happening around them are more likely to get involved and help make a difference,” the Facebook chief wrote, espousing an eat-your-vegetables view of local news that jibes with his new effort to turn Facebook into a force for global good.

There’s little reason to doubt Mr. Zuckerberg’s noble-sounding intentions. The internet has decimated the business model for large and small metropolitan newspapers, and Facebook, like other tech giants before it, just wants to help.

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