Skip to primary content


Craigslist Founder Seeks Online Trust for Journalism

The first line in the Nieman Reports essay by Craig Newmark floored me. His site,, has more than five billion page views each month. He started it all from scratch. So when he gives advice to newsrooms, it is probably a good idea to pay attention.

In defining his craigslist he writes:

Penelope Green, writing in The New York Times, referred to it as resembling “a marketplace on the ancient model-chaotic, unruly, and vividly human.”

Somehow, the craigslist community–its users and company–has constructed a culture of trust. Basically people feel they should treat others as they want to be treated. Where we start from on craigslist is in trusting people; then we give those who come into our community real power to self-police. We do light management but, mostly, we stay out of the way and let people set the tone of the site. Somehow this approach works.

Alas that’s the best part of his essay. He then talks about the need to balance journalism pros and amateurs and of the need for online journalism trust, but offers no breakthrough ways of assuring that trust. Oh well, that means if one of us figures it out, maybe we can someday have 5 billion page views on the journalism side of things.

Thanks to the Social Media Podcast & Blog for the tip. The site also gives a pointer to a new citizen journalism site in India.

Technorati : , , : , ,

Comments are closed.