When a billionaire arrived into the news business in Ireland in the last years, the results included a well-regarded investigative journalist being ushered out the door. So, billionaires and journalism, a good combination?
With the news that Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill are joining forces with billionaire Pierre Omidyar, a new news organisation is being born, online only, and apparently dedicated to investigative and deep reporting. Whether it’s non-profit or not remains to be revealed, but presumably it will be for profit as this does not seem to be a philanthropic venture.
Jay Rosen from NYU spoke to Omidyar in the last days, and reported: Why is Omidyar doing this? He said that his involvement in Civil Beat (a news site he started in Hawaii) stoked his appetite to try something larger in news. “I have always been of the opinion that the right kind of journalism is a critical part of our democracy.” He said he had watched closely over the last 15 years as the business model in journalism collapsed but he had not “found a way to engage directly.” But then when the idea of buying the Washington Post came up he started to think about it more seriously. “It brings together some of my interests in civic engagement and building conversations and of course technology, but in a very creative way.
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