This week we are celebrating gratitude in the U.S. And so, if you will indulge me, I would like to share what I’m grateful for this year.
As we close in on just two years of publishing, I’m grateful that The Markup—an ambitious experiment in using cutting-edge technological techniques to build a new kind of public service newsroom—has yielded a steady stream of impactful investigative journalism
. And all this comes despite the relatively tiny size of our newsroom. (Less than 20 people!)
Our success wasn’t a given. After a rocky start caused us to briefly shut down in 2019, we began publishing on Feb. 25, 2020. Two weeks later, the pandemic forced us to shut our New York City offices and go home. We had to forge a newsroom culture over Zoom (where we all still live).
And while weathering those challenges, we’ve managed to pull off an incredible cultural feat: merging the team-driven iterative culture of engineering and the hard-charging competitive culture of investigative journalism. The results have been better than I ever hoped. We have created an accountability-driven newsroom where engineers and journalists work together on projects big and small, elevating all of our work with computation and analysis.
This collaboration has allowed us to create engineering marvels like our real-time forensic privacy tool, Blacklight
, and our Citizen Browser
project, for which we built an app that allows us to monitor the Facebook feeds of a nationwide panel of paid participants.
These tools allow us to persistently monitor Big Tech in ways that no other organization has been able to accomplish.
We couldn’t do it without you, and we hope you’ll join us during this season of giving and help us continue our unique brand of accountability journalism.
Through the end of the year, our generous partners at Newsmatch are supporting sustainability for our nonprofit newsroom by matching the full annual pledge made by new monthly supporters. That’s 12 times the impact for your first monthly donation to The Markup.
This week, I hope you’ll consider a donation to our work
—every dollar helps us report the truth, prioritize ethical data practices, and defend our future.
Thanks for being part of The Markup.