This week founder of US classifieds giant Craigslist.com, Craig Newmark, pledged $1M to fight fake news.
The funds will be given to The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a nonprofit journalism education and advocacy organization that’s creating a new initiative focused on promoting and standardizing ethics in journalism.
“I’m a news consumer, and I just want some news I can trust,” Newmark said in an interview with SFGate.com.
Fake news is a phenomenon that has been sweeping the globe in recent years. Consumers are regularly being fed quotes and stories that have been manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports then spread online to large audiences.
Newmark has been working closely with the Poynter Institute for several years in the hopes of “standing up for ethical journalism”.
His donation is the largest the Poynter Institute has received since it was founded in 1975. The funds will be put toward hiring a new faculty member to combat media misinformation and hold the industry to the highest standards.
Kelly McBride, Poynter’s vice president of academic programs, said that working to codify and refine journalistic practice is acutely important for a profession without a central standard-setting body.
“As an unlicensed profession, our ethics grow from our thought leadership, as opposed to a licensed profession, where you can have an ivory tower creating the guidelines,” she said.