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Hawaii Writer Selected for Facebook Initiative

August 22, 2021, 2:54 PM HST
* Updated August 22, 12:36 PM
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In April, Facebook announced a $5 million commitment to support independent local journalists through its new Bulletin platform, designed to help independent writers, experts, journalists and authoritative voices reach new audiences on Facebook.

Now, 25 independent local journalists from across the country have joined the initiative, which recognizes that local news is the heartbeat of our communities. More people are turning to mobile and digital channels during the pandemic to keep up with local news and information, and Facebook Bulletin is a new platform for writers, independent experts, and authoritative voices to find, build, and monetize their audience.

Ryan Kawailani Ozawa, a Honolulu-based tech journalist and community organizer, has been selected to participate in the program, following an application process conducted in partnership with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). He is the only launch participant in Hawaii.

Building upon decades of experience across print, radio, television and online media, Ozawa will publish “Hawaii Bulletin,” which will focus on island innovation. He will highlight Hawaii-based science, technology, startups and entrepreneurs, and feature local leaders, creators, educators, and more, as well as indigenous knowledge and place-based initiatives.

“Bulletin combines the undeniable connective tissue that Facebook already provides for countless communities with something as simple and accessible as email,” Ozawa says.

“This will hopefully give me a chance to be more personal, and perhaps more opinionated, than my old-school journalism training might otherwise dictate,” he adds. “I hope it will also allow readers to feel more personally connected to the stories I tell.”

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Many creators already share their content and engage with audiences on Facebook. Bulletin provides a way for Facebook to support their work and businesses connecting readers to Bulletin publications and facilitating new relationships directly with writers.

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Creators will have an opportunity to foster deeper connections with their audiences on Facebook with Bulletin, which brings together writing and audio content — from podcasts to Live Audio Rooms — in one place, and fosters community through tools like Groups.

“As Bulletin rolls out, we look forward to building more tools and services that suit independent writers’ needs,” says Campbell Brown, VP of Facebook’s Global News Partnerships. “This includes a new partnership with the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York (CUNY) to offer a tailored version of their Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program (EJCP) exclusively for this group of local writers.”

All writers on Bulletin will also benefit from Facebook’s partnership with Inbox Collective and Dan Oshinsky, who led the newsletter strategy at The New Yorker and BuzzFeed, which will provide free learning opportunities on designing a newsletter strategy, as well as 1:1 consulting and support.

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” With access to these services and the tools Bulletin offers for creating content, building engaged audiences, and generating revenue, we can better support writers in their efforts to build independent businesses, in turn helping them serve their communities and give people the local information so essential to their lives,” Brown says.

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