The Philadelphia Daily News’ Will Bunch loosely compares Craig Newmark to Lee Harvey Oswald in one of the more bizarre anti-craigslist rants to date from a newspaper guy who understands that advertising revenue is being separated from journalism in the Digital Era. Quote:
If you won’t charge customers for ads, and apparently you won’t, then at least start accepting those text ads, and funnel those millions of dollars into the newly formed Craig’s Foundation. And what will be the main benefactor of this new foundation? A scholarship fund, to pay for the college education of the dozens of displaced journalists across America losing their jobs everyday
Given Bunch’s normally well-chosen words, I have to believe this is either a total put-on or a rare case of foolishness by someone who should know better. If it’s the latter, he’s giving everyone who considers professional journalists to be whiny, spoiled brats — with not the slightest idea of how the real world works — a load of new ammunition.
The illogic is truly weird in any case. What should we do about volunteers and nonprofits? Should we require them to charge for their services and then created scholarship funds for the children of the for-profit employees who’d have those jobs if there were no volunteers or nonprofits “undercutting” their work?
(Disclosure: Craig is on my board of advisors, and a supporter of this Center. He’s also a friend, and I admire what he’s accomplished.)