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November 28, 2005

Craigslist Founder Behind Online News Venture

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Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, is backing a new effort to deliver news online.

Though Craigslist has moved into the classified arena with postings of job, apartment, roommate, and personal ads, Newmark maintains that he, not Craigslist, is partially behind plans for a new online media venture.

Newmark's efforts came to light following comments he made in London last week, which hinted that Craigslist was getting into journalism. Newmark confirmed in his blog that he is backing a new media venture but declined to provide details.

"I'm working with some folks on technologies that promise to help people find the most trusted versions of the more important stories," he wrote on his blog. "This kind of technology is intended to preserve the best of existing journalistic practices and should help retain newsroom jobs. It's intended to complement, preserve and grow existing media."

He said that news infrastructure, including editing and fact checking (no mention of reporting or writing in the blog), are a "really big deal."

Some additional information comes via a consultant to the effort. Jeff Jarvis, former editor of Entertainment Weekly, wrote on his Web site that Newmark is an investor and advisor on a project that Jarvis has been working on for several months.

"We're not ready to show or describe our service in any detail," he wrote Monday. "We're still in development. Our goal is to create a platform to organize the world's news using the best of technology, community, and editors. We seen an explosion of interest in and coverage of news from incredibly varied sources around the world and see a need around that."

He promises a beta next year and says jobs will be posted on Craigslist.

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