Erik Wemple dreams of Pierre Omidyar. Lucky Pierre

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on January 29, 2014

From The News Desk

Over on the Washington Post, media critic Erik Wemple offers an aggressive and thorough profile of “dream media mogul” Pierre Omidyar.

Wemple's deep investigation, which in no way resembles a job application, follows the release of a commercial for “First Look Media”, Omidyar's quarter billion dollar news startup that has a… uh… first look deal with journalist Glenn Greenwald for Edward Snowden’s NSA secrets.

As a service to his readers, Wemple also offers a list of bullet points pulled from Omidyar’s own press release, each of which — Wemple believes — makes First Look such a bold experiment in new journalism.

And what are these never before seen “innovations”? Here's the full list. I've also managed to obtain some exclusive footage from inside First Look HQ providing, without doubt, that none of these journalism-saving ideas has ever been attempted in the history of American newsgathering.

*He’s looking to pull off a “marriage between a technology company and a new kind of newsroom.”
  • * * *
    *He’s looking to “make it easier for journalists to deliver the transformative stories we all need.”
  • * * *
    *He’s going to provide a general-interest site — entertainment, sports, politics, business and the like.
  • * * *
    *He’s going to launch a “family of digital magazines.” Each one will be piloted by a “visionary, experienced journalist.”
  • * * *
    *He’s going to give journalists “everything they need to do their jobs well — the freedom to travel, legal protection when they need it, new and innovative technology and the rarest resource of all: The time and organizational backing to develop their skills.”
  • * * *
    *He’s still not quite sure how the revenue model will work: “How does a company support itself given such ambition? We’re figuring that out. We’ll experiment with new and old revenue sources and create entirely new ones.”
  • * * *
    *He wants to “ensure that journalism has a healthy future.”
  • * * *
  • Wemple ends his piece with a question:

    Here's a guy who's going to send platoons of journalists around the country and the world in pursuit of stories that'll contribute to the “greater good,” and he's doing it before figuring out how the outfit is going to generate money. Any more billionaires like this guy around?

None that I can think of.

[Illustration by Hallie Bateman for Pando]