Facebook has appointed a veteran from The New York Times to lead its news products division, which is responsible for stopping the spread of fake news and helping publishers make money.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Alex Hardiman announced that she’s been promoted from leading the Facebook Pages team for the past 8 months to be the company’s newly-created head of news products in New York City. She previously held more than a half-dozen positions during a decade-long stint at The New York Times, where she left as the newspaper’s VP of news products.
Now Hardiman will report to Fidji Simo, who oversees Facebook’s media and live video efforts. She will also work alongside former NBC anchor Campbell Brown’s news partnerships team, which Facebook formed earlier this year.
Hardiman’s position is another sign of Facebook wanting to show its commitment to media outlets after it faced sharp criticism for its role in spreading fake news during the U.S. presidential election. And it comes at a time when publishers have struggled to monetise the content that they distribute through Facebook products like Instant Articles.
In January, Facebook announced its journalism project, a group of initiatives designed to make sure “that a healthy news ecosystem and journalism can thrive.” The company has since visited newsrooms throughout the US to hear journalists’ feedback on new and existing products.
It sounds like Hardiman’s focus will be on implementing those changes on both the user-facing and revenue model sides of Facebook.
“We will spend time building better products and tools for journalists, working hand-in-hand with Campbell Brown and her team to strengthen the relationships and value exchange between Facebook and news providers,” Hardiman wrote in her Facebook post. “We will also partner with teams in Facebook to continue curbing the spread of false news.”
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