Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder and chairman of online auction site eBay, has announced an initial investment of $50 million in First Look Media, the $250 million media venture he is launching with former Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald.
The funds will be used by First Look to launch operations in New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. In addition to investigative news, the media venture plans to offer robust coverage of politics, government, business, technology, sports, arts and culture, and entertainment and lifestyle.
Formerly called NewCo, First Look Media comprises several entities, including a for-profit new media technology company and a nonprofit journalism organization. According to the announcement by Omidyar, any profits earned by the technology company will be used to support the media venture's mission.
To be led by Greenwald, the organization has signed Laura Poitras, the Berlin-based filmmaker who was deeply involved in Greenwald’s coverage of the Edward Snowden-NSA leaks; Jeremy Scahill, former national security correspondent for The Nation; Dan Froomkin, former senior Washington correspondent for the Huffington Post; Liliana Segura, former Nation and AlterNet editor; and Eric Bates, former executive editor of Rolling Stone. Omidyar will serve as the organization's publisher.
"This initial capital is the first step of many to bring the vision of this news organization to life," said Omidyar. "I am deeply committed to the long-term effort to build a new and exciting platform for journalism — one that not only provides the innovation and infrastructure journalists need to do their best work, but that brings their reporting and storytelling to the widest possible audience."