Slayer Of Old Media Gives $1.6M For 'New Media' Chair At Berkeley

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is often blamed for hastening the destruction of the backbone of old media — daily newspapers — by siphoning off their once-lucrative classified advertising business. But he’s made a few philanthropic donations to ventures figuring out, or at least pontificating on, the future of media and journalism.

Now he’s making another: UC Berkeley said Craigslist pledged $1.6 million to endow a faculty chair at the Berkeley centre for New Media, and CEO Jim Buckmaster will take a seat on the founding board. The donation will be matched by a $1.5 million grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Berkeley’s newly-formed centre for New Media supports research and teaching in 30 departments, including the schools of journalism, law, information, architecture, philosophy and film studies.

Newmark is a news junkie, but he doesn’t wring his hands over the impact of his business on newspapers. He says he’s no bigger threat to the press than Monster.com, and if he doesn’t force them to innovate, someone else will. In addition to Berkeley’s centre, Newmark is a backer of Jay Rosen’s “open-source” journalism project NewAssigment.net.

Earlier: Why Craigslist Sucks
Newspapers’ Fab 2007: $11 Billion of Market Value Vaporized

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