Omidyar and Greenwald’s new journalism venture will be incorporated nonprofit

By Andrew Lapin

First Look Media, a new journalism organization backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and headed by former Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, will include a 501(c)3 nonprofit as part of its structure.

The company, announced in June with $250 million in promised capital from Omidyar, will comprise several entities, including a for-profit division dedicated to exploring new media technologies. According to a Dec. 19 announcement, the still-unnamed nonprofit-journalism side of the company will create a digital publication. Funds from the technology wing will support the journalism, which will retain editorial independence.

The announcement comes alongside Omidyar’s first infusion of $50 million in capital for the organization. Omidyar is also serving as the organization’s publisher.

Though much about the new media entity is still a mystery, the Omidyar Group said it will “publish robust coverage of politics, government, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, arts and culture, business, technology, and investigative news.” The venture’s other major hires include documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, who along with Greenwald has reported on top-secret government documents leaked by former federal contractor Edward Snowden, and former Democracy Now! reporter Jeremy Scahill.

Jay Rosen, a media professor at New York University and author of the journalism blog PressThink, is serving as an advisor to Omidyar’s venture.

“The entire operation is designed to: 1.) support the mission of independent public service journalism, 2.) achieve sustainability and 3.) attract talent,” Rosen wrote in a Dec. 19 blog post about the venture.

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