Craigslist founder gives Mother Jones $1 million to fight fake news


Craig Newmark attends Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s Annual Rush HeARTS Education Luncheon in March 2016.

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation

The founder of Craigslist has become a big supporter of investigative journalism.

Craig Newmark on Monday gave $1 million to Mother Jones in an effort to help the investigative outlet combat fake news, the Poynter Institute reported. He has reportedly also given donations to Poynter, ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, the Columbia Journalism Review and the school’s Tow Center, Wikimedia, The Ground Truth Project and more.

Newmark told Poynter that journalists are key in defending the country against the modern information warfare and disinformation campaigns aimed at interfering with elections. With that reason, he reportedly funds people and organizations with solid track records to make positive social impact.

Mother Jones is a nonprofit news organization that focuses on investigative reporting. The donation will go towards the news outlet’s fundraising campaign to expand coverage and its reporting capacity, according to the outlet’s blog post. The campaign has received $20 million in donations so far.

“This is an investment in the toughest — and most rewarding — kind of journalism, the deep investigative work that is now under attack from all sides,” said Monika Bauerlein, CEO of Mother Jones, in the blog post. “With our growing community of supporters, we can build a newsroom that continues this work for a long time to come.”

Newmark in 1995 founded his free bare-bones online bulletin board, which took a toll on newspapers that were heavily reliant on classified advertising revenue. He’s since become known for his philanthropic works. Besides donating to journalism, in 2016, he gave $50,000 to 10 students at the University of San Francisco who chose a career of “ethical public service.”

Craig Newmark Philanthropies didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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