Facebook is making big moves to fix its fake news problem, among amending other frustrations from publishers.
Alex Hardiman will serve as Facebook’s first-ever head of news product. It’s an internal promotion. Hardiman joined Facebook last summer after serving as the vice president of product for the New York Times and led the tech company’s mobile products, including leading the Pages team.
The new role as head of news product includes promoting the Facebook Journalism Project, which is an effort by the tech company to help news organizations “build new storytelling formats, local news communities, monetization options, and more,” Hardiman wrote on Facebook.
Given Hardiman’s experience in newspapers and Facebook’s rocky relationship with them, the hire seems like a great move in an effort to appease print-centric publishers. Facebook hired Campbell Brown to serve as Facebook’s first-ever head of news. Yet, Brown is an experienced television anchor.
Hardiman is apparently amped about the role. Her Facebook post about the promotion included a bit of familial history about her great-grandmother and grandfather’s role in the news industry.
It won’t be an easy job, Hardiman admitted. “The weight and opportunity of this challenge is both humbling and thrilling, and I can’t wait to get started,” she wrote.
The New York Times, Hardiman’s former employer, actually pulled out of Facebook’s Instant Articles, the social network’s product for outlets to publish directly and monetize through Facebook, last fall. It did, however, recently join Snapchat Discover.
Hardiman starts in June.