The foundation says that Newmark (either personally or through the foundation) made multiple millions of dollars worth of donations to media-related organizations last year, including giving $1 million to The Poynter Institute to fund a faculty chair in journalism ethics.
Newmark recently told Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab that it was his duty “to spend like a sailor on shore leave” to support journalism, and that he planned to donate another $3.5 million in addition to his support of Poynter and Wikipedia. (In the same interview, Newmark said that people who criticize Craigslist for killing local newspapers by replacing the classifieds page “have no understanding of the business.”)
“A trustworthy press is the immune system of democracy,” Newmark said in the donation release. “As citizens we can only make informed decisions when we have news we can trust. Independent investigative reporting is essential to shoot down false claims and expose bad actors. ProPublica is a leader in that kind of journalism, and we need more of it.”
ProPublica was founded in 2007 and often collaborates with other media organizations on investigative journalism. It was the first online news organization to win a Pulitzer Prize. And its budget last year was “just over $16 million.”