Craig Newmark Philanthropies has announced gifts totaling $15 million to Columbia Journalism School and the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in support of their efforts to strengthen journalism ethics in the digital age.
In operation for almost a century, the Journalism School at Columbia will receive $10 million to establish and endow the Craig Newmark Center for Journalism Ethics and Security and the Craig Newmark Professorship. Once it's up and running, the Newmark Center will work to strengthen the school's mandatory ethics classes and will work with faculty and staff to expand its instruction in digital and physical security, algorithmic bias, image manipulation, source protection in a high-surveillance era, and more. The center plans to launch a nationwide search for a director in the near future.
The remaining $5 million will establish the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at the Poynter Institute, a leading nonprofit journalism school located in St. Petersburg, Florida. When fully operational, the center will work to provide industry leaders with relevant training and continued education and will position itself as an "ombudsman" for industry by supporting the coverage of journalism ethics as a news beat; conducting annual research projects on ethics, trust, and other topics related to journalistic integrity; and organizing an annual meeting to facilitate collaboration.
"With disinformation flowing through social platforms and the news, it's critical to modernize journalism ethics so that the industry keeps pace with the ever-changing digital landscape," said Newmark, the founder of craigslist. "Both Columbia Journalism School and Poynter are already helping journalists do just that, and with these gifts, I hope they'll become the industry's go-to resources for the challenges journalists face in a data-driven world."