This is interesting: Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire EBay founder, can run a good paper and is not an asshole. Here’s the account of one of his reporters:
n 2010, Omidyar launched Honolulu Civil Beat, where I took a job as city hall reporter shortly after it launched in March 2010. (Later, I opened the organization’s Washington bureau. I still report semi-regularly for the site.) Media-types routinely ask me what founder Pierre Omidyar is like. Have you actually met him? Does he talk to any of the reporters? Has he even set foot in the newsroom?
To those who have worked at Civil Beat, these are hilarious questions. Of course we know Pierre. He sits in the open newsroom with everybody else, just a couple of feet away from my old desk. When I worked in Honolulu, he was there most days helping the site’s developers write code – Python and Erlang, for those who are keeping track – occasionally chuckling at our newsroom banter, and always eating healthier than anyone else in the room.
[…] Civil Beat was promoted as a new and different type of journalism serving Hawaii, where Omidyar lives.
Really, Civil Beat represented a return to fundamentals: shoe-leather reporting, an emphasis on filing Freedom of Information Act requests and examining public records, close coverage of government spending and campaign finance. […]
I took a look at Civil Beat and I wish my hometown paper was that good.