Craigslist Founder Backs New Site With $20 Million

Craig Newmark

NEW YORK  The Markup, a nonprofit news organization based in New York City, has launched with a $20 million donation from Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Other investments include $2 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and additional support from the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

At a time when technology is radically reshaping the world, The Markup aims to cover how powerful institutions are using technology in ways that impact people and society.

The Markup will use the funds to hire two dozen journalists for its New York office and the website will launch in early 2019.

The Markup is founded by Sue Gardner (Executive Director), former head of the Wikimedia Foundation, and Julia Angwin (Editor-in-Chief) and Jeff Larson (Managing Editor), investigative journalists who formerly wrote for ProPublica. They incubated the project with an investment from the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative.

“In a healthy society, there’s an ongoing conversation about what’s in the public interest—a debate that includes legislators, regulators, the institutions of civil society, the private sector, and the general public,” said Gardner. “We aren’t having that debate right now about new technologies because the level of understanding of their effects is too low. That’s the problem that The Markup aims to fix, and I am delighted to have Craig Newmark, and some of the United States’ most prominent private foundations, join us to do this.”