|Alma mater||Ryerson Polytechnical Institute|
|Known for||Former executive director, Wikimedia Foundation (2007–2014)|
Sue Gardner (born May 11, 1967) is a Canadian journalist, not-for-profit executive and business executive. She was the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation from December 2007 until May 2014, and before that was the director of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's website and online news outlets.
In 2012, she was ranked as the 70th-most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. In 2013, she joined the board of Global Voices. In May 2015, the Tor Project announced that Gardner would be assisting the project with the development of their long-term organizational strategy. In 2018, she was announced as executive director of The Markup. Gardner left this position in May 2019.
Gardner was born in Barbados. She grew up in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of an Anglican priest and a school principal. She received a degree in journalism from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
Gardner began her career on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio in 1990 on the program As It Happens, and worked for more than a decade as a producer, reporter and documentary maker for CBC Radio current affairs and for Newsworld International, focusing on pop culture and social issues.
In May 2007, Gardner resigned from CBC, and shortly thereafter began consulting for the Wikimedia Foundation as a special advisor on operations and governance. In December 2007, she was hired as the foundation's executive director. Over the next two years, she oversaw growth of the staff including the addition of a fundraising team, and a move of the headquarters from St. Petersburg, Florida, to San Francisco, California. In October 2009, Gardner was named by The Huffington Post as one of ten "media game changers of the year" for the impact on new media of her work for Wikimedia.
One of the issues that Gardner addressed while she was a Wikimedia Foundation executive director was gender bias on Wikipedia. She listed nine reasons why women don't edit Wikipedia, culled from comments by female Wikipedia editors:
- A lack of user-friendliness in the editing interface
- Not having enough free time
- A lack of self-confidence
- Aversion to conflict and an unwillingness to participate in lengthy edit wars
- Belief that their contributions are too likely to be reverted or deleted
- Some find its overall atmosphere misogynistic
- Wikipedia culture is sexual in ways they find off-putting
- Being addressed as male is off-putting to women whose primary language has grammatical gender
- Fewer opportunities than other sites for social relationships and a welcoming tone
On March 27, 2013, Gardner announced she would be leaving her position at the Wikimedia Foundation. She stated that the Wikimedia Foundation is doing well now but that the Internet is not, and that she planned to help in that area going forward. Gardner identified the "turning point" for her decision to move on as her involvement in the 2012 Wikipedia blackout protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, protests that "started me thinking about the shape the Internet was taking and what role I could play in that."
Tor and First Look
Gardner joined The Tor Project, Inc to develop a strategic plan, with support from First Look Media. The Tor Project is a Massachusetts-based research-education nonprofit organization founded by computer scientists Roger Dingledine, Nick Mathewson and five others. The Tor Project is primarily responsible for maintaining software for the Tor anonymity network. First Look Media is an American news organization founded by Pierre Omidyar that was launched in October 2013 as a venue for "original, independent journalism." The organization is incorporated as a tax-exempt charitable entity.
In September 2018, Gardner co-founded The Markup with Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson as a continuation of their work at ProPublica. With $20 million of initial funding from Craig Newmark, the site would work to cover news about "Big Tech" and its impact on the public. Initially, Gardner was set to serve as executive director, Angwin as editor-in-chief, and Larson as managing editor, with a launch date of early 2019.
In April 2019, Gardner fired Angwin over creative and managerial differences. Larson was named editor-in-chief. Five of seven journalists on the staff resigned. In a letter to Newmark, Angwin said Gardner wanted to turn The Markup into a “cause” rather than a “publication.” Angwin also said Gardner ranked reporters in job interviews according to how negative they viewed tech companies and suggested using headlines like "Facebook is a dumpster fire." Gardner responded that The Markup's mission had not changed. Gardner and Larson left The Markup the following month, and Angwin was reinstated as the website's editor-in-chief in August 2019.
- "US Power Women Born Abroad". Forbes. Archived from the original on February 10, 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- "Sue Gardner's Blog". 17 July 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2012.
- Vreede, Jan-Bart de (May 2014). "Announcing our new Executive Director: Lila Tretikov". Wikimedia blog. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- The World's 100 Most Powerful Women, Sue Gardner. Forbes. Accessed August 23, 2012.
- Ivan, Sigal (16 January 2013). "Wikimedia's Sue Gardner Joins Global Voices Board". Global Voices Online. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
- arma. "Sue Gardner and the Tor strategy project". Tor Project Blogs. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- Bowles, Nellie (September 23, 2018). "News Site to Investigate Big Tech, Helped by Craigslist Founder". The New York Times. Retrieved September 23, 2018 – via San Francisco Chronicle.
- Wikipedians do it for love. Really. Globe and Mail. July 26, 2010
- From the Lavin Agency's profile Archived 2014-02-03 at the Wayback Machine.
- Perkins, Tara (July 19, 2006). "CBC clicks online by Tara Perkins". Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. Toronto Star. Archived from the original on October 4, 2006. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
- Ouimet. "Does CBC.ca run itself?". The Tea Makers. Archived from the original on May 31, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
- Martin, Cynthia (March 19, 2017). "Sue Gardner: 'Hubris is the engine of Silicon Valley'". Globe and Mail. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
- Wikimedia Foundation press release, June 27, 2007.
- "Sue Gardner Hired as Executive Director", Wikimedia Foundation press release. December 3, 2007
- From the series of slides for the 10 Game Changers: Who Is The Ultimate Game Changer In Media? – Sue Gardner. HuffPost. March 18, 2010
- Gardner, Sue (19 February 2011). "Nine Reasons Why Women Don't Edit Wikipedia, In Their Own Words". suegardner.org (blog).
- Please read: an announcement from Wikimedia Foundation ED Sue Gardner « Wikimedia blog
- Chozick, Amy (March 28, 2013). "Leader of Foundation Behind Wikipedia to Step Down". The New York Times. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- "Ken Dryden, Deepa Mehta among honorary doctorate recipients at convocation". Ryerson Today. Ryerson University. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- "Honorary Doctorates - Convocation - Ryerson University". Archived from the original on February 2, 2008. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- Please welcome Lila Tretikov, the Wikimedia Foundation's new ED Jan-Bart de Vreede, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, 1 May 2014.
- Elder, Jeff (May 2014). "Wikipedia's New Chief: From Soviet Union to World's Sixth-Largest Site". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- Cohen, Noam. "Open-Source Software Specialist Selected as Executive Director of Wikipedia". New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- Sue Gardner and the Tor strategy project - The Tor Project, 6 May 2015
- Why I'm working with Tor and First Look - Sue Gardner's Blog, 20 May 2015
- "Tor Project: Core People". Tor Project. Retrieved 17 July 2008.
- "About - First Look Media". FirstLook.org. First Look Media. 2014. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- Jay Rosen (19 December 2013). "A First Look at NewCo's structure". Pressthink.org.
- Schmidt, Christine (September 24, 2018). "Watch out, algorithms: Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson unveil The Markup, their plan for investigating tech's societal impacts". Nieman Journalism Lab (NiemanLab) Nieman Foundation for Journalism Harvard University. Cambridge, Mass. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
Journalists in every field need to have more skills to investigate those types of decision-making that are embedded in technology.
- Bowles, Nellie (September 23, 2018). "News Site to Investigate Big Tech, Helped by Craigslist Founder". The New York Times. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
- "The Markup ousts editor in chief Julia Angwin, prompting resignations". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
- "Julia Angwin Is Out as Editor of New Tech Watchdog Site The Markup". The Markup. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
- Tracy, Marc (6 August 2019). "The Markup, a Tech News Site, Reinstalls Its Fired Editor as Part of a Fresh Start". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 August 2019.