Craigslist founder donates $2.5M to New York Public Radio

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New York Public Radio is using a $2.5 million gift from Craigslist founder Craig Newmark to “fuel the integration and expansion of WNYC and Gothamist,” the station said in an announcement Wednesday.

NYPR acquired Gothamist in February and resurrected the defunct local news site. It is now using Newmark’s gift for “deepening the digital and data capacity” of WNYC News and Gothamist “so that we can put the story first, and roll it out on the platform that best tells the narrative and serves the audience,” according to spokesperson Jennifer Houlihan Roussel.

The gift will help WNYC News and Gothamist “build out their digital production capacities, and add journalists to expand coverage of critical beats, such as politics, immigration, transportation, education, health and other core topics in civic life,” according to a press release.

“There is an increasing need for grassroots journalism in New York City,” Newmark said in the release. “New York Public Radio will help shine a light on meaningful civic issues that impact the day-to-day lives of New Yorkers.”

NYPR will invest in data journalism, data visualization and engineering capacity to produce more digital products like “Does Your Block Vote?”, which provides New Yorkers with voter turnout data for their blocks, Roussel said.

The money will also go toward expanding partnerships with other media outlets, according to the release.

NYPR does not yet know whether it will use the gift to add staff. “We are formulating our exact plans, and still assessing if the gift will translate into new roles, or a reorganization of current roles,” Roussel said.

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