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Facebook-first news means vertical videos, social media hosts

Several news anchors will be introducing themselves a little bit differently this summer — and replacing the name of a TV station instead with Facebook. On Wednesday, June 6, Facebook announced a slate of original journalism programs exclusive to the social media platform. That Facebook-first format will have the shows looking a bit different, including one shot with vertical video and another using social media influencers instead of journalists. Facebook is funding those exclusive programs directly in an effort to boost reliable news sources on the platform while pushing fake news further down the news feed.

The first list of Facebook funded news shows on Watch includes exclusive content from networks like ABC, CNN, and Fox. Facebook says that the shows will maintain full editorial control. The new journalism-based Facebook Watch shows are experimental, Facebook says, with the network using the first few shows to determine what works and what doesn’t.

“Earlier this year we made a commitment to show news that is trustworthy, informative, and local on Facebook,” Facebook’s Head of Global News Campbell Brown said. “As a part of that commitment, we are creating a dedicated section within Watch for news shows produced exclusively for Facebook by news publishers. With this effort, we are testing a destination for high quality and timely news content on the platform.”

The news shows contain a mix of daily, weekly and breaking news coverage. Some shows use well-known and award-winning journalists while others use faces that are not as familiar to news programs. Facebook expects to expand the first list of shows over the next few weeks, with the first ones airing this summer.

The experimental nature and social media first format could create news broadcasts a bit different from the ones that air on TV first and social media second. CNN’s Anderson Cooper Full Circle, for example, will use a vertical video format. The show will air every weekday in the evenings and cover global news from a New York studio.

Also covering global news, On Location is a daily show by ABC that uses reporting directly from, you guessed it, on location.

The Fox News Update is Facebook exclusive coverage of breaking news. News anchor Shepard Smith will host the show on weekday afternoons, Carley Shimkus on weekday mornings and Abby Huntsman on the weekends.

The list also includes Chasing Corruption by Advance Local of the Alabama Media Group. The weekly show features watchdog journalists in the U.S. with host Ian Hoppe along with the Reckon investigative team from

Journalist and author Jorge Ramos will host a show by Univision called Real America. In the show, Ramos interviews immigrants around the country. Univision will also host a Spanish news show.

Undivided ATTN uses social media influencers instead as hosts. The show, put on by ATTN, aims to offer context on news stories every week. Mic Dispatch by Mic uses correspondents for a twice-weekly show focusing on underrepresented stories.

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