In a world of Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional testimony, political bias on social media, and legislators’ ham-handed attempts to protect citizens online, many people are at a loss for where turn for real tech news.
Enter The Markup, a new non-profit investigative news organization founded by Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson, formerly of ProPublica, and Sue Gardner, formerly of the Wikimedia Foundation. Gardner, the executive director of The Markup, says the venture aims to inform the public about new technologies and their effects so we can have essential debates about what is in the public interest.
The Markup boasts funding from some of the best known and most influential foundations currently operating, including $2 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and another $1 million from a group that includes the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The biggest chunk, however, comes from Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, who pitched in $20 million.
Angwin and Larson have a proven track record of making the opaque world of tech legible to non-experts. At ProPublica they reported on Facebook’s discriminatory advertising, and cybersecurity holes at Mar-A-Lago.
The Markup is looking to staff up for an early 2019 launch.