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EBAY BILLIONAIRE DISCUSSES PLANS FOR INVESTIGATIVE NEWS SITE

October 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar has acknowledged that his plan to invest $250 million in a presumably multimedia news website, to be built from the ground up, faces some formidable hurdles. In an interview with today’s (Monday) New York Times, Omidyar said that while the site will focus on investigative pieces by the likes of Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who first leaked Edward Snowden’s NSA documents, such reports are likely to turn away advertisers. “Advertisers don’t want to put their ads next to the investigative story; it’s extremely difficult to do that,” he told the Times. Moreover, he conceded, “very few people today actually read those serious news stories on the Web now. The audience for the most important stories can be depressingly small. There will always be a core of readers willing to support that work, but it is a tiny, tiny percentage of broader society.” Omidyar said that it will therefore be necessary to create a broad, general-interest site to engage readers. But when asked for specifics, he demurred. “We are way too early” to talk about such matters, he said, noting that last week’s leak about the project occurred “unexpectedly.”