Journalist Glenn Greenwald in Rio de Janeiro, July 2013. Sergio Moraes / Reuters
Blogger and journalist Glenn Greenwald, who along with Laura Poitras broke the story of Edward Snowden's NSA leaks, announced today that he is departing the Guardian newspaper to join a "new news venture backed by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar," reports Paul Farhi at The Washington Post.
The new, as-yet-unnamed news site has also sought to hire Laura Poitras, the documentary filmmaker who was instrumental in linking former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to Greenwald and Barton Gellman of The Washington Post, and national security reporter Jeremy Scahill of the Nation magazine, said a person familiar with the venture.
The new venture (we don't yet know the name) is funded by Omidyar Network, a “philanthropic investment firm” controlled by Omidyar and wife Pamela, which previously backed local investigative news website Honolulu Civil Beat, and now-closed Backfence.
Greenwald spoke to Buzzfeed today about his departure from the Guardian, but gave no details about the new venture.
UPDATE: A rep for Omidyar says, "The new venture will be backed by Pierre Omidyar, personally, not Omidyar Network. Additionally, Honolulu Civil Beat is not funded by Omidyar Network, it is a separate entity. Here is a blog post by Pierre on the topic today."
(Disclosure: I serve with Greenwald and Poitras on the board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.)
Dale Maharidge is a journalist and J-school professor who is dear old friends with the muckracking, outstanding political documentarian Laura Poitras. Jessica Bruder (previously) is a a writer and J-school prof who's best friends with Maharidge. When Laura Poitras was contacted by an NSA whistleblower who wanted to send her the leak of the century, she asked Maharidge for help finding a safe address for a postal delivery, and Maharidge gave her Bruder's Brooklyn apartment address. A few weeks later, Bruder came home from a work-trip to discover a box on her doormat with the return address of "B. Manning, 94-1054 Eleu St, Waipau, HI 96797." In it was a hard-drive. The story of what happened next is documented in a beautifully written, gripping new book: Snowden's Box: Trust in the Age of Surveillance.
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