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Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman of the auction site eBay, became a billionaire at the age of 31. Having made his fortune (his net worth is somewhere in the ballpark of $8 billion), the French-Iranian-American entrepreneur wants to give back. A decade ago, he established the Omidyar Network, an institution that is part venture capital and part philanthropy, to help businesses and nonprofits that share a “commitment to advancing social good at the pace and scale the world needs today.”Some of Omidyar’s investments do good by anyone’s definition: funding joint public-private educational projects in South Africa, or helping indigenous peoples around the world retain rights to the resources on their own lands. But for other investments, “social good” is in the eye of the beholder. Omidyar recently infused $250 million into a new journalistic venture, First Look Media, and has installed a respected mainstream journalist, a former managing editor of the Washington Post, as President, to help “develop the best ways to serve audiences as well as oversee the company’s editorial vision.” That vision encompasses a number of lofty objectives: ensuring that citizens are “highly informed and deeply engaged in the issues that affect their lives”; helping “to improve society through journalism and technology,” building “responsive institutions”; and supporting efforts to “hold the powerful accountable.”That is all well and good, but how are these high-minded goals working out in practice? The only product of First Look Media thus far is The Intercept, an online publication whose three founding editors are Jeremy Scahill, Laura Poitras, and Glenn Greenwald. The latter two are both individuals to whom Edward Snowden entrusted the top-secret documents he purloined from the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence bodies before he took refuge in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Jeremy Scahill is a self-described “progressive journalist” who has written extensively for the Nation and wrote the script for a 2013 documentary film, Dirty Wars, based upon his book of the same title, about America’s “global killing machine.”Continue reading.Follow us on page.