Craigslist founder Craig Newmark reportedly donated $1 million to Mother Jones on Monday without caveats to help fight fake news.
The donation comes as part of a series of donations by Newmark’s philanthropic organization, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, to publications. Other recipients include ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, the Columbia Journalism Review and the university’s Tow Center, Wikimedia and The Ground Truth Project, Poynter Institute reported Monday.
Mother Jones is a left-wing publication, partially funded with George Soros’s money, with a questionable history. One writer for the publication, David Corn — who was investigated for “inappropriate behavior” toward women — admitted on Dec. 23 that he is friends with James Baker, a lawyer on the FBI general counsel, The Daily Caller reported.
“Publications like Mother Jones do a good job of fighting it, and I thought with more resources, they would do an even better job,” Newmark told Poynter.
The progressive publication started a fundraising campaign in early 2016 and has so far raised $20 million dollars, according to a Mother Jones blog post.
“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 CEO of Mother Jones, Monika Bauerlein, 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 has made several donations to new outlets in the past few years and wrote on Twitter there are “more to come” on Monday.
There is some debate over whether or not his website, Craigslist, and others are responsible for the decline in the newspaper industry. A significant portion of newspapers’ revenue used to come from personal ads, like someone selling their car. With the creation of Craigslist and eBay, sellers can place an ad on the popular sites for free.
Politico reported that it wasn’t sites like Craigslist and eBay that caused the decline of newspapers, while Business Insider reported it did. (RELATED: Craigslist Founder Gives $1 Million To Public School Teachers In Science And Math)
A study by Robert Seamans of New York University’s Stern School of Business and Feng Zhu of the Harvard Business School reported that Craigslist is responsible for almost a $1 billion loss in revenue from newspapers annually from 2000 to 2007, The Week reported Aug. 15, 2013.
Newmark denies Craigslist is responsible for the decline, The New York Times reported June 11, 2018, after Newmark donated $20 million the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
“It’s really hard to find the effect,” he said. “We’re sure there must have been something. But newspapers started losing circulation and revenue long before Craigslist.”
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