Craigslist Founder: Comedy Central the Most Trusted Name in News

April 6th, 2010 7:43 PM

Everyone knows Fox isn't "the most trusted name in news," so who is? You guessed it - and at least one media tycoon agrees. Speaking at the University of Missouri as a guest-lecture, Craig Newmark - Craigslist founder and informal Obama technology-advisor - argued that Comedy Central is the most trustworthy news source.

Invited to discuss the future of journalism - where individuals virtually have an endless amount of resources in today's era of new media - Newark stressed how trust and credibility was paramount, emphasizing the exemplary dedication Comedy Central shows have for investigative reporting and fact-checking.

"[R]ight now I think the most trusted news show in the U.S. is the one that does the best investigative reporting and the most trustworthy reporting - and that's ‘The Daily Show,'" Newark said - and he wasn't joking. "Sounds like a joke - isn't."

"Also the ‘Colbert Report' is in there and these guys deserve the trust they have, and their interns who are changing everyday to new shows - I think they said fifteen DVR's - this is a really big deal and they deserve a lot of credit for that," Newark said. "Maybe that's an idea for internships here because the deal is there's news and there's comedy gold to be mined just by looking at C-SPAN and things like that, and there's an opportunity there." 

Newark argued that most news organizations lost their credibility because they lost sight of their journalistic duties.

"As far as I can tell, fact-checking in many news organizations is regarded as discretionary and an easy way to slash costs," he lamented. "There are news organizations that do it, or act in pretty good faith - for example the New York Times, Consumer Reports, the New Yorker - and that really does matter."

"[I]f you guys provide coverage of other areas, provide and even inject into the public mind the notion that you're actually reporting on what matters, that may give you a big opportunity in the future," Newmark said. "That's for real because people do care about what's happening and I think faith in the conventional media is very low right now."

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