Founder of Craigslist is Spending Millions To Stop Misinformation

2022-04-11T00:18:40-04:00

Craig Newmark is actively giving away his fortune with the hopes of keeping free and fair news reporting alive.

Even if you have never heard of Craig Newmark before today, I am confident you have heard of his product, Craigslist. Newmark has an estimated worth of one billion dollars. With his money, he is trying to help society and educate people. Some of the ways that he is doing this are by donating millions of dollars to keep free and fair journalism alive, educating people on the problems that misinformation can cause, and encouraging women to get into the tech field.

Any of these three things alone are wonderful, and yet Mr. Newmark is doing all three. There was a time when all Americans trusted the news, and no one proclaimed that the news was fake or biased. One of the reasons is because, initially, television stations set aside 30 minutes a day for the news – as it was a public service to educate and inform the viewers on anything noteworthy happening down the street or on the other side of the world. It seems Newmark would like to bring that sentiment into our current society.

Donations To Keep Journalism Alive

Keeping traditional journalism and journalistic integrity alive is an important cause to Newmark. In an interview with the Digiday Podcast  Newmark said,

“In the 1970s, my high school U.S. history and civics teacher taught us about the importance of a free press. A trustworthy press is the immune system of democracy.” 

Like many, what Newmark learned during his youth impacted his life and the values he holds. Because of these values, he has donated millions of dollars to journalism schools and companies. 

Some of his donations have gone to NPR, Consumer Reports, the Poynter Institute, The Journalism school at the City of New York, and the journalism school at Columbia University. In fact, the City of New York Journalism School actually changed its name in his honor to The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.

The Founder of Craigslist is Fighting Disinformation

In 2016, Newark started donating his money to what he calls trustworthy journalism. In an interview with Press Gazette, he said, 

“The trustworthy press is the immune system of democracy, and even in my naivety, I could see that the immune system was failing pretty badly. And instead of limiting or stopping this spread of disinformation, I could see that frequently the press was being gamed into spreading disinformation. And so intuitively I recognized that something was going very badly wrong.”

Because of this observation, he started giving money to organizations he found trustworthy. He spent time giving money and interviews about why disinformation can take down a democracy. This is a good and surprising way for a billionaire to spend their time.

Craig Newmark Donates Money To Help Level The Playing Field For Women in Tech 

Finally, Newmark has a passion for helping women follow their passions and skills to the tech world. He believes that women are an addition to the field, and having more women in tech will ultimately benefit everyone. 

However, he knows that it is a more arduous road for women as, in many situations, they are less respected. This starts pretty early on; in elementary school, an equal number of boys and girls are interested in science, math, and technology. However, as time goes by, that number shrinks, generally due to societal views. This is why he donates his money to this cause.

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