First Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos buys the Washington Post, now eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is chucking a quarter billion dollars at Glenn Greenwald to create a news organization that, presumably, will reflect the progressive politics that are Mr. Greenwald’s stock in trade.
Who will be the next Silicon Valley billionaire to buy his or her own major media presence? From Mr. Greenwald’s erstwhile employer, The Guardian:
Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, has revealed more details of the media organization he is creating with journalist Glenn Greenwald.
Greenwald announced on Tuesday that he was leaving the Guardian, where he has broken a series of stories on the National Security Agency, based on documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden.
In an interview with Jay Rosen, media critic and NYU professor of journalism, Omidyar said he was committing an initial $250m to the as-yet-unnamed venture. Omidyar told Rosen the decision was fuelled by his “rising concern about press freedoms in the United States and around the world”.
Omidyar said he hopes the project will promote “independent journalists with expertise, and a voice and a following” while using Silicon Valley knowhow to build an audience. “Companies in Silicon Valley invest a lot in understanding their users and what drives user engagement,” Omidyar said. The company will be online only and all proceeds will be reinvested in journalism.
In a blogpost, the eBay billionaire revealed that he had been exploring a purchase of the Washington Post, which was ultimately bought by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
“That process got me thinking about what kind of social impact could be created if a similar investment was made in something entirely new, built from the ground up. Something that I would be personally and directly involved in outside of my other efforts as a philanthropist,” wrote Omidyar…
[continues at The Guardian]