Craig Newmark Named Keynote Speaker at AAN West

Craig Newmark, founder and chairman of free online classified site, will serve as the keynote speaker at the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ AAN West conference in San Francisco. Newmark will address conference attendees during the traditional AAN West lunch, which will be held this year on Saturday, Jan. 28.

In his prepared remarks, Newmark will share his thoughts on the topic of journalism. He will also leave plenty of time for questions from the audience.

The possibility of Newmark’s funding a journalism-related venture has been the subject of much speculation in recent months. He has teamed with former entertainment journalist Jeff Jarvis on an online project but has kept quiet about the details, except that the beta version will have a spring launch. However, Newmark has been quoted as saying the service could “address a crisis of credibility facing mainstream news outlets” as a result of downsizing and scandals. He also was named recently to the board of advisors of the Center for Citizen Media being started by “We the Media” author Dan Gillmor.

Newmark, 52, whose official job title is “customer service rep and founder,” founded Craigslist in 1995. Known for its noncommercial public-service mission, the site has been massively successful. It is now the world’s most-used classified ad service in any medium, with over 7 million new ads posted each month on 190 city sites in 35 countries. More than 10 million people visit the site each month, generating about three billion page views.

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