Where Substack leads, Facebook follows
Hot on the heels of Substack's local journalism initiative, Facebook arrives, bearing a big old stack of cash. This looks like great news if you're into rebuilding local news in the US — yes, this is a US-only initiative despite my distinctly British League of Gentlemen image above — from the ground up:
We’re committing $5 million to support local journalists interested in starting or continuing their work on our new platform for independent writers which you can learn more about here.
However, as a careful reading of the above quote will show, this is not a completely altruistic move (any more than Substack's is). Facebook requires you to use its tools as part of the deal. As always, I have questions about how portable Facebook-based subscriptions will be, and I'd always recommend that people take this money with their eyes firmly open to the degree to which it ties them a singular platform.