Facebook’s relationship with the journalism industry has so far been bittersweet. More bitter than sweet. In a charm offensive, the social networking giant now wants to train journalists to use its platforms. It announced a free three-course curriculum for journalists. The Facebook for Journalists Certification, co-designed by Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the social network, will help journalists utilize Facebook and Instagram in their daily work, the company blog claimed.

The three courses–How Journalists Can Best Utilize Facebook and InstagramConnect and Engage with Your Audience Using Facebook Live and Immersive Storytelling with Facebook 360-– are designed around the themes of content discovery, story production and building an audience. They combine product knowledge, case studies and tips from Poynter, a press release said. The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a non-profit school for journalism located in Florida, USA.

The three courses combined are 48 minutes long and followed by a 45 minute-long assessment test designed by the Poynter Institute. Journalists who successfully complete the assessment will be awarded a certificate of completion by Blueprint, Facebook’s e-learning system.

Facebook’s charm offensive

The certification comes on the heels of the company’s efforts to patch up its relationship with the news industry, which has been critical of the social network’s monopoly over news distribution and monetization of content. It has also been investing in charming the news industry with its Facebook Journalism Project launched earlier this year and has pledged an undisclosed amount to the $14 million Media Integrity Project, a media literacy and trust initiative, by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Last week, Adam Mosseri, vice-president of product management for newsfeed, was quoted by the Financial Times that the social network is looking for ways to compensate fact-checkers. This was followed by an update to Instant Articles, its content hosting and monetization platform, to allow readers to interact with media organizations through Instant Articles, although, unhappy with the monetization plans, more and more news organizations are opting out of Instant Articles.