Greenwald leaves the Guardian to set up news organisation
NSA leaks journalist quits to pursue “career dream” but the reaction to his departure is mixed
GLENN GREENWALD, the journalist who played a key role in publishing secret NSA files leaked by Edward Snowden, has announced that he will no longer be working for the Guardian. The news that Greenwald is leaving to set up an independent news site was itself leaked to BuzzFeed.
In a statement Greenwald said that he had left the paper on good terms and described his time there as “extremely fruitful and fulfilling”. He said he was “incredibly proud of what we achieved” in reporting the NSA’s secret surveillance operations.
Greenwald said that while the decision to leave was a difficult one, he was presented with “a once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline”.
He gave no further details of this ‘career dream’ but said he looked forward to being part of a news organisation with “no pre-existing institutional strictures on what you can do.”
According to the Washington Post and several other sources he will run an independent online news venture, backed by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar.
— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) October 16, 2013
Reaction to Greenwald’s departure has been mixed. Guardian spokeswoman Jennifer Lindauer said of his departure: “We are of course disappointed by Glenn’s decision to move on, but can appreciate the attraction of the new role he has been offered. We wish him all the best".
— alan rusbridger (@arusbridger) October 15, 2013
Rom Reider wrote for USA today: “Greenwald is aggressive, passionate and fearless. It will be fascinating to watch his new venture take shape.”
However, commentators at some of the Guardian’s competitors were more critical. Telegraph blogger Mic Wright questioned the reasons for his departure, suggesting that Greenwald “used the Guardian as a springboard to reach a new level of fame and infamy” and that it “has now served its purpose.” He said “The journalism Glenn Greenwald respects most is his own”.
Wright’s labelled the news of his venture “frightening” and called Greenwald “incredibly vituperative”, which resulted in a twitter backlash from Greenwald supporters.
@brokenbottleboy The Helen Lovejoy of tech-writers attempting a take-down of the most consequential journo of 2013 is a little distasteful.
— Ray Starke (@RaymondStarke) October 16, 2013