First Look Media, the news organization created by Pierre Omidyar, today announced that it will provide grants totaling up to $550,000 to three organizations at the forefront of integrating freedom of the press with technology. The funding includes:
– A grant of up to $350,000 to Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) over two years to help the new organization further strengthen its operations. FPF started as a crowdsourcing site for journalism outlets, but now also provides newsroom software that allows people to submit anonymous whistleblower tips electronically. FPF is recognized as an important voice in supporting and defending public-interest journalism, particularly national security reporting. Team members from First Look’s The Intercept, including Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Micah Lee, are on the board of the organization.
– A $100,000 grant to Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) for a media technology fellow to provide strategic insights around technology issues related to press freedom. As one of the country’s premier non-profits devoted to the legal rights of journalists, Reporters Committee has taken the lead in supporting First Amendment and press rights cases, as well as Freedom of Information Act efforts.
– A $100,000 grant for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to support its work promoting encryption and protecting free expression. Upcoming projects include instructional resources covering communication technologies, secure communication principles and privacy for professional journalists, citizen media, and activists, as well as planning for an “Encryption Usability Prize” to incent developers and design professionals to create accessible encryption software.
The funding is part of First Look’s broader strategy to strengthen freedom of the press while introducing new technologies to the journalism industry.
“The grants represent First Look’s strong commitment to finding new tools that will support the First Amendment,” said Lynn Oberlander, First Look’s general counsel, media operations. “Growing the capacity for other organizations to do this work is fundamental to First Look’s mission.”