Some very big journalism news is being broken this afternoon by BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith. Although major details are still to be announced, the gist is that Glenn Greenwald is leaving The Guardian:
Greenwald declined to comment on the precise scale of the new venture or on its budget, but he said it would be “a very well-funded… very substantial new media outlet.” He said the source of funding will be public when the venture is officially announced.
“My role, aside from reporting and writing for it, is to create the entire journalism unit from the ground up by recruiting the journalists and editors who share the same journalistic ethos and shaping the whole thing — but especially the political journalism part — in the image of the journalism I respect most,” he said.
Greenwald told Smith he will remain based in Rio de Janeiro but that the main hubs of his new news-breaking operation will be New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.
Smith’s exclusive ends with this tantalizing sentence from Greenwald: “When people hear what it is, there is almost no journalist who would say no to it.” The departing Guardian star also says that a “fair number” of people have been hired already.
Update (10:00 p.m.):
According to Reuters, Greenwald’s new venture is being funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The billionaire’s other current investments include online news outlet Honolulu Civil Beat, a lynchpin partner for the newly launched Huffington Post Hawaii. Reuters could not confirm if there are other backers besides Omidyar.