Investigative journalism nonprofit The Markup, founded by two of the field’s most celebrated professionals, has won a $20 million from seasoned backers including Craigslist’s Craig Newmark.
The brand, launched by ProPublica investigative reporters Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson, alongside director Sue Gardner, former head of the Wikimedia Foundation, will dig into topics involving “regulators, the institutions of civil society, the private sector, and the general public,” Gardner said via a statement.
“We aren’t having that debate right now about new technologies because the level of understanding of their effects is too low,” Gardner added. “That’s the problem that The Markup aims to fix, and I am delighted to have Craig Newmark, and some of the United States’ most prominent private foundations, join us to do this.”
In addition to Newmark, The Markup is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. It was incubated with investment from the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative.
“I’m proud to back The Markup and support people whose work I’ve followed and admired for a long time,” said Newmark. “As a news consumer, I look for journalism that I can trust, and by producing data-driven, rigorously fact-checked reporting on the effects of technology on society, The Markup is helping to fill a largely unmet need.”
Angwin and Larson have an illustrious record in breaking tech-related stories. They have uncovered bias in bail risk scores, discriminatory ad practice at Facebook and cybersecurity weakness at Mar-A-Lago, the country club residence of US President Donald Trump. The Markup will open in New York City early next year with a staff of 24 journalists.