More Turmoil at The Markup, a Tech Site Still in Beta Mode

One month after the top editor was ousted from The Markup, a fledgling nonprofit investigative tech news site, amid disagreements with the other two founders, more turbulence followed.

On Friday, Craig Newmark, the Craigslist founder and the site’s biggest backer, said in a statement that the site’s other two founders had departed.

“I’ve been informed that Sue Gardner and Jeff Larson are no longer with The Markup,” Mr. Newmark said in the statement, which he posted on his Twitter account.

The investigative journalist Julia Angwin, the original editor in chief, was fired from the site in April after having apparently lost a power struggle. After her sudden exit, several editorial staff members followed her out the door, citing her dismissal as the reason for their resignations.

Does all the beta-mode turmoil mean it’s over for The Markup? In his statement on Friday, Mr. Newmark suggested that the dream of building a site to scrutinize the technology industry and its effects on society at large was far from over — and that there would be a resolution in the days to come.

“I’m hopeful an announcement about the future of The Markup will be made soon,” Mr. Newmark said in the statement. “I remain absolutely committed to its mission. I’m not the only funder and there is a lot of work to do.”

The Markup had raised more than $23 million from investors.

Along with Ms. Angwin, the main members of the original team included Mr. Larson, who worked side by side on investigations with Ms. Angwin at ProPublica, and Ms. Gardner, a former head of the Wikimedia Foundation.

With a planned July start date creeping ever closer, what had seemed so promising appeared to implode last month, when Ms. Angwin was let go and five of the seven editorial staff members left.

At the time, Ms. Angwin said that Ms. Gardner had wanted to alter the site’s mission to something overtly antagonistic toward the tech industry, rather than journalistically rigorous. Ms. Gardner disputed that characterization.

Ms. Angwin declined to comment. Mr. Newmark, Mr. Larson and Ms. Gardner did not immediately reply to requests for comment Friday afternoon. Mr. Larson’s Twitter biography no longer described him as The Markup’s editor in chief, as it did last month following Ms. Angwin’s ouster.

Source link