Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder of eBay, has made his leap into online publishing after The Intercept, an online site from his First Look Media (FLM) network, went online today featuring a big-hitting story about the NSA and drone attacks.
An introductory post explains that the publication will cover numerous industries and topics as part of its mission is to “to hold the most powerful governmental and corporate factions accountable.” The Intercept is described as being the first of “numerous” digital publications that will launch under the FLM banner, though there’s no indication of the areas that these additional sites will focus on.
Former Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald is on board as editor of The Intercept, as had been expected after he announced his union with Omidyar last year. The twelve person team includes film-maker Laura Poitras and investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, both of whom have been prominent names in the continued coverage of NSA leaks and stories, which were kicked off by Greenwald last year.
The Intercept is live right now, featuring @ggreenwald, @jeremyscahill, Laura Poitras and a great team. https://t.co/ns3UZFycyx
— Pierre Omidyar (@pierre) February 10, 2014
Initially, the publication will focus on reporting more disclosures from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, but it will focus on wider independent journalism over the longer term:
Our longer-term mission is to provide aggressive and independent adversarial journalism across a wide range of issues, from secrecy, criminal and civil justice abuses and civil liberties violations to media conduct, societal inequality and all forms of financial and political corruption. The editorial independence of our journalists will be guaranteed, and they will be encouraged to pursue their journalistic passion, areas of interest, and unique voices.
The first two stories are live:
- The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program — by Greenwald and Scahill
- New Photos of the NSA and Other Top Intelligence Agencies Revealed for First Time — a guest post from American artist Trevor Paglen
Omidyar announced his foray into online news last October. The entrepreneur landed Greenwald as his ‘star’ signing, and says he is putting $250 million behind the First Look Media initiative.
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