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Facebook hires former CNN anchor to lead news partnerships

Campbell Brown

Campbell Brown

Facebook has hired broadcast journalist and former CNN presenter Campbell Brown to head up its news partnerships team.

Announcing the news via a post on Facebook, Brown said that she will be using her newsroom experience to help news organisations and journalists work “more closely and more effectively with Facebook”.

“I will be working directly with our partners to help them understand how Facebook can expand the reach of their journalism, and contribute value to their businesses. That also means making sure there is ongoing feedback from publishers as Facebook develops new products and tools for news organisations,” she said.

“Right now we are watching a massive transformation take place in the news business – both in the way people consume news and in the way reporters disseminate news. Facebook is a major part of this transformation. This change comes with enormous challenges for journalists but also with great opportunities.”

The hire comes after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a public statement in November addressing concerns about the spread of fake news on Facebook, in the wake of the US presidential election.

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg maintained that “of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes.”

However, he did concede that more could be done to stamp out the spread of dis-information on Facebook, claiming “we don’t want any hoaxes on Facebook” and that people want access to “accurate news”.

“We have already launched work enabling our community to flag hoaxes and fake news, and there is more we can do here. We have made progress, and we will continue to work on this to improve further.”

Brown is an experienced TV news reporter, having co-anchored of NBC news programme Weekend Today from 2003 to 2007, and then hosted her own show on CNN from 2008 to 2010. More recently she founded a non-profit organisation called Partnership for Educational Justice, which aims to help families to pursue policy changes in local schools.

The hire comes after Ricky Van Veen, the co-founder of IAC/InterActiveCorp-owned comedy site CollegeHumor, moved to Facebook to become head of global creative strategy last June, in another high-profile move.