Facebook Canada taps five B.C. publishers for newsroom accelerator program

What happened: Five B.C. publishes are set to participate in Facebook Canada’s newsroom accelerator

Why it matters: The social media giant will be offering up tools and resources to help local publishers find audiences online

Facebook Canada is leaning heavily on the West Coast for the launch of its newsroom accelerator program.

The Canadian arm of the social media giant announced Monday (May 27) that five B.C.-based media companies are among the first 11 participants in its Facebook Local News Accelerator.

Glacier Media Inc. (TSX: GVC) will join The Discourse, Daily Hive, The Tyee and the Vancouver Observer in the 12-week program aimed at digital audience development.

Business in Vancouver is owned by Glacier Media.

Facebook, Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) said the accelerator is offering experts, tools and resources to participants in a bid to help publishers connect to audiences and find new ways to monetize.

Participants will be tasked with developing individual projects addressing their companies’ different business models before presenting those concepts at Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters.

Facebook is committing $2.5 million to the initiative, while the Canadian Journalism Foundation is administering the grants to local publications.

"Canadians expect relevant, quality news on Facebook and so do we. The launch of Facebook Local News Accelerator in Canada is one part of our commitment to high-quality, fact-based content across our family of apps," Marc Dinsdale, Facebook Canada’s head of media partnerships, said in a statement.

"We are committed to exploring what we can build together with our partners to support local news, and will continue to invest in local news in Canada."