Details about a new media venture backed by craigslist founder Craig Newmark are under wraps, but interest is growing as Newmark voices his opinions on traditional media and his vision for something better.
During an interview last week, the man who has been somewhat demonized for drawing classified ad revenues away from newspapers offered some details about his latest plans.
"The venture I'm involved in will find the best of what's out there," he said. "It will promote the best of the press. That means it starts with a level playing field. People with the best reputations will be the most prominent."
The team Newmark is supporting will include journalist and consultantJeff Jarvis and Upendra Shardanand, who has expertise in creating software that filters content to fit personal preferences. Newmark has experience weeding out people disseminating false information. He describes the project as providing more trusted news with more fact-checking to more people.
Far from predictions that he'll have a hand in destroying newsrooms and cutting jobs, Newmark said he believes his contribution will help make investigative journalism more profitable and save jobs. He said readers need the advantages that professional journalism provides, including bureaus that cover remote locations.
"I want to help accelerate the evolution of the press because right now, newsrooms are cutting investigative journalists, and we need investigative journalists," Newmark said.