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Monday, January 02, 2006 

CraigList founder sees need for a reliable news source

Craig Newmark founder of Craigslist has a new project to help us find the most trusted news stories.

"We need news to become a community service again, and we need journalists to speak truth to power," said the 52-year-old entrepreneur, who admits he's no expert on journalism, but has spoken in the past of showcasing talented amateur journalists online.

Sounds like an ambitious project. But when a new journalism venture is announced by the founder of a popular online classified service - which one analyst estimated has cost San Francisco-area newspapers at least $50-million in lost classified ad revenue - the media world takes notice.

"Our goal is to create a platform to organize the world's news using the best of technology, community and editors," Jarvis wrote on his Buzzmachine.com Web log.

By spring, the group plans to have a beta version of the service - a version close to completion, available for use by the public to work out the final kinks, according to Jarvis. Last week, Newmark said the new service could address a crisis of credibility facing mainstream news outlets following steady downsizing at newspapers and big media scandals.

"We're trying to preserve the existing journalism structure," he added. "Hopefully, this effort will lead people to the best-reported stories - get people excited to trust news again, particularly in the younger demographic."- Eric Deggans/St Petersburg Times

Wow that sound exciting. Then this Mr. Newmark gives us this quote:
"We need people, especially the White House press corps, to ask difficult questions and get some answers," Newmark said. "That's beginning to happen, but what the country needs is some clear, relentless journalism. Because a story might be covered one day and gone the next ... and the bad guys feel free to do more."
I hope he succeeds. I think Jefferson would be disgusted with the corporate media giants and thier collaborations with the current administration.
"The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers... [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper." --Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785. (*) ME 5:181, Papers 8:632
A despotic govt keeps a standing army of newswriters to do the masters bidding! Can anyone say Armstrong Williams, Dave Smith, Michael McManus, Maggie Gallagher, and don't foget - Jeff Gannon. Then we can go on to list the people at the NYT who faked stories to support the run up to the war and held onto info until after the elections. Heck, the GOP has it's own newschannel! Yeah - America could use a little integrity in thier journalism.