Craig Newmark Endows the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism With a $20 Million Gift

  • By CUNY J-School Staff
Photo: Stephanie Canciello, Unali Artists
Craig Newmark Bleacher+Everard

Craig Newmark, the founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, has donated $20 million to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism’s foundation to enhance the school’s mission of training journalists, diversifying the voices in the media, and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.

In honor of this historic gift, the CUNY Board of Trustees has given its approval to name the school the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. The name change will take place some time this summer.

“Craig Newmark’s extraordinary generosity ensures that our still-young school will have the resources and flexibility it needs to remain at the forefront of journalism education,” said Sarah Bartlett, dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

This transformational gift will enable the school to recruit additional faculty, continue to develop innovative programs, and pursue activities that support greater trust in journalism, among other vital functions. Newmark will have no role in determining how the school spends the money.

“At a time of rapid, digital innovation, eroding public trust in news, and increased governmental oversight, it is imperative that we build a sustainable future for journalism,” Newmark said. “The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is committed to producing skilled, ethically minded, and diverse journalists.”

Newmark’s involvement with the CUNY J-School dates back to November 2016 when he gave $10,000 to support the cost to the school of hosting Electionland, a unique cooperative venture for major news organizations and student journalists to identify possible voting fraud during the presidential election.

In January 2017, he agreed to give $1.5 million to help launch the News Integrity Initiative at the CUNY J-School. The school ultimately raised $14 million for NII to support work around the world to combat fake news.

Newmark sits on the NII’s three-person executive committee, and in February 2017 he joined the board of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Foundation.

Newmark aims to strengthen trust in high-quality journalism by supporting institutions and initiatives that are tackling the wide range of issues affecting the news industry, including strengthening transparency and media ethics, supporting real-time fact-checking efforts, championing a diverse and inclusive journalism pipeline, and disarming harmful technologies that spread disinformation.

Other journalism organizations that have been the recipients of Newmark’s philanthropy include Columbia Journalism Review, Data & Society Research Institute, First Draft, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, ProPublica, Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, and the Sunlight Foundation.

As the only publicly supported graduate journalism school in the Northeast, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism provides one of the best values in advanced journalism education in the U.S. With affordable tuition and extensive scholarship support, the school attracts talented students from a vast array of backgrounds and experiences, ensuring that the next generation of journalists is inclusive and diverse.

“We are thrilled and honored by this extraordinary gift to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism,” said CUNY Board of Trustees Chairperson William C. Thompson, Jr. “It is an important and timely investment, not only in the university, our city and the nation, but in the future of our democracy. At a time of profound challenges to the vital role of a vigorous free press, it has never been more important to support reliable, high-quality reporting – and to ensure that the next generation of journalists has the skills and values to earn the public’s trust and reflects the communities it serves.”

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Press Contacts

Amy Dunkin, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism,
amy.dunkin@journalism.cuny.edu, (646) 758-7826

Carner Round, Craig Newmark Philanthropies,
craignewmarkfoundation@webershandwick.com, (212) 445-8062