Type of site
|Available in||English and Portuguese|
|Owner||First Look Media|
The Intercept is an online publication of First Look Media, an American non-profit company owned by eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar. Its editor is Betsy Reed.It also publishes four podcasts: Intercepted (hosted by Scahill), Deconstructed, Murderville GA, and Somebody.
The Intercept has published in English since its founding, and in Portuguese since the 2016 launch of the Brazilian edition staffed by a local team of Brazilian journalists.
The Intercept was founded by journalists Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill and filmmaker Laura Poitras.It was launched in February 2014 by First Look Media, which is funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The publication initially reported on documents released by Edward Snowden. Co-founders Greenwald and Poitras subsequently left amid public disagreements about the leadership and direction of the organization.
In February 2016, The Intercept won a National Magazine Award for columns and commentary by the writer Barrett Brown, and it was a finalist in the public interest category for a series by Sharon Lerner called the Teflon Toxin, which exposed how DuPont harmed the public and its workers with toxic chemicals.In April 2016, The Intercept won the People's Voice award for best news website at the twentieth annual Webby Awards. In May 2016, The Intercept won three awards at the New York Press Club Awards For Journalism. The site was awarded in the "special event reporting" category for its investigative reporting on the U.S. drone program, the "humor" category for a series of columns by the writer Barrett Brown, and the "documentary" category for a short film called, "The Surrender"—about the former U.S. intelligence analyst Stephen Jin-Woo Kim—produced by Stephen Maing, Laura Poitras, and Peter Maass. At the September 2016 Online News Awards, The Intercept won the University of Florida Award in Investigative Data Journalism for its Drone Papers series, an investigation of secret documents detailing a covert U.S. military overseas assassination program.
At the 2017 Online News Awards, The Intercept won two awards: the first for a feature story about the FBI's efforts to infiltrate the Bundy family, and the second, an investigative data journalism award for "Trial and Terror", a project documenting the people prosecuted in the U.S. for terrorism since 9/11.The same year, The Intercept won a Hillman Prize for Web Journalism for an investigative series by Jamie Kalven exposing criminality within the Chicago Police Department. The news organization also won a 2017 award for "Outstanding Feature Story" at the sixteenth annual Awards for Reporting on The Environment. Judges of the environmental award praised author Sharon Lerner for her piece "The Strange Case of Tennie White", which they described as a "finely written and disturbing investigation of contamination and injustice near a chemical plant in Mississippi".
On August 15, 2014, U.S. National Counterintelligence Executive (NCE) William Evanina confirmed that the FBI is moving forward[ needs update ] with a probe into how classified documents were leaked to The Intercept for its article revealing details about a database of terrorism suspects, which linked some people to terrorism even if they had no known association with any terrorism group. "It's a criminal act that has us very concerned," said Evanina, a former FBI special agent with a counter-terrorism specialty who was appointed NCE by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper in May 2014.
In August 2014, it was reported that members of the U.S. military had been banned from reading The Intercept.
Erik Wemple, writing for The Washington Post , noted the conspicuous refusal of The Intercept to use the term "targeted killings" to refer to the U.S. drone program, instead referring to the drone strikes as "assassinations". Wemple included Glenn Greenwald's explanation that assassination is "the accurate term rather than the euphemistic term that the government wants us to use"; Greenwald further noted that "anyone who is murdered deliberately away from a battlefield for political purposes is being assassinated".TechCrunch referred to the story as clear evidence of "unabashed opposition to security hawks".
The Jewish Telegraph Agency wrote that The Intercept's founder "has relentlessly criticized Israel and its political leadership, and at times has invoked tropes of dual loyalty in attacking the pro-Israel community". The site also published a podcast titled "The case against AIPAC".
Politico notes that The Intercept has a tendency to write articles that speak negatively of Democrats.
In February 2016, the site appended lengthy corrections to five stories by reporter Juan M. Thompson and retracted a sixth, about Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, written over the previous year, focused on the African-American community. Shortly afterward, a note from editor Betsy Reed indicated that Thompson had been fired recently after his editors discovered "a pattern of deception" in his reporting. According to Reed, he had "fabricated several quotes in his stories and created fake email accounts that he used to impersonate people, one of which was a Gmail account in my name".
Reed apologized to readers and to those misquoted. She noted that some of Thompson's work, most of it using public sources, was verifiable. Editors alerted any downstream users of the affected stories, and promised to take similar action if further fabrication came to light.
Thompson suggested that the greater problem was racism in the media field. He had made up pseudonyms for some of his sources, whom he described as "poor black people who didn't want their names in the public given the situations" and would not have spoken with a reporter otherwise. "[T]he journalism that covers the experiences of poor black folk and the journalism others, such as you and First Look, are used to differs drastically," he argued. He also said he had felt a need to "exaggerate my personal shit in order to prove my worth" at The Intercept given incidents of racial bias he said he had witnessed there. When Gawker published his email, Reed said those allegations had not been in the version he sent her.
He was fired by The Intercept in early 2016 and, according to Reed, did not cooperate with the investigation into his actions.
In early June 2017, The Intercept published a National Security Agency document that asserts Russian intelligence successfully hacked an American voter registration and poll software company, and used information culled to phish state election officials. The document was mailed from a source inside NSA, who did not reveal their identity to Intercept writers.One hour after publication, Reality Winner, a 25-year old NSA contract employee, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and charged under the Espionage Act of 1917. The article bolstered public suspicion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
The document states that Russian intelligence attempted to crack the log-in information of the employees of a vendor providing voter registration software and databases for states to use with their election systems. It stated that the Russians were successful enough that they were able to email 122 election officials, by posing as employees of the vendor.
According to David Folkenflik of National Public Radio, "[a]n Intercept reporter shared a photo of the papers with a source, a government contractor whom he trusted, seeking to validate it. The printout included a postmark of Augusta, Ga., and microdots, a kind of computerized fingerprint. The contractor told his bosses, who informed the FBI."NSA quickly identified the leaker of the documents.
Verifying the legitimacy of leaked documents is common journalism practice, as is protecting third parties who may be harmed incidentally by the leak being published. However, professional media outlets who receive documents or recordings from confidential sources do not, as a practice, share the unfiltered primary evidence with a federal agency for review or verification, as it is known that metadata and unique identifiers may be revealed that were not obvious to the journalist, and the source exposed.
According to the FBI, the evidence chain led to the arrest of Winner, a young Air Force veteran who was working in Georgia for Pluribus International Corporation, an NSA contractor, when the document was mailed to The Intercept.The Intercept has been criticized for unprofessional handling of the document, and indifference to the source's safety.
Following the arrest of Winner, The Intercept released a statement saying it had "no knowledge of the identity of the person who provided us with the document". Allegations from the FBI about Winner, it added, were "unproven assertions and speculation designed to serve the government's agenda and as such warrant skepticism".
NSA whistleblower John Kiriakou and Guantanamo Bay detention camp whistleblower Joseph Hickman have both accused the same reporter accused of revealing Winner's identity, Matthew Cole, of playing a role in their exposure, which, in Kiriakou's case, led to his imprisonment.
On July 11, 2017, The Intercept announced that its parent company, First Look Media, through its Press Freedom Defense Fund, would provide $50,000 in matching funds to Stand with Reality, a crowd-funding campaign to support Winner's legal defense, plus a separate grant to engage a second law firm to assist Winner's principal attorneys, Augusta-based Bell & Brigham. Additionally, wrote editor-in-chief Betsy Reed, "First Look's counsel Baruch Weiss of the firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer may support the defense efforts while continuing to represent First Look's interests."
On August 23, 2018, at a federal court in Georgia, Winner was sentenced to the agreed-upon five years and three months in prison for violating the Espionage Act. Prosecutors said her sentence was the longest ever imposed in federal court for an unauthorized release of government information to the media.Winner was being held at the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP)'s Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, in order to receive treatment for bulimia and be close to her family.
On November 30, 2020, Laura Poitras, one of the founding editors of the Intercept, left the company. She said she was fired in relation to the Reality Winner controversy.
On October 29, 2020, Glenn Greenwald resigned from The Intercept, saying that he faced political censorship and contractual breaches from the editors, who he wrote had prevented him from reporting on Joe Biden's conduct with regard to China and Ukraine. On The Joe Rogan Experience , Greenwald stated that he thinks his colleagues are desperate for Trump to lose, so they do not want to report anything negative about Joe Biden. The Intercept disputed Greenwald's accusations, writing that Greenwald "believes that anyone who disagrees with him is corrupt, and anyone who presumes to edit his words is a censor", and told The Washington Post, "it is absolutely not true that Glenn Greenwald was asked to remove all sections critical of Joe Biden from his article. He was asked to support his claims and innuendo about corrupt actions by Joe Biden with evidence." In response to The Intercept, Greenwald published the emails that led to his resignation which show Greenwald being asked to make "significant revision", treat the "disinformation issue" with "greater complexity", and be skeptical of the materials allegedly leaked from Hunter Biden's laptop because "it remains a very strange story surrounded by many unanswered questions".
|Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill|
|Hosted by||Jeremy Scahill|
|Original release||January 25, 2017 – present|
|Provider||First Look Media|
Intercepted is a weekly podcast hosted by investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill and produced by First Look Media.The podcast uses interviews, round table discussions, and journalistic narrative to present investigative reporting, analysis, and commentary on topics such as war, national security, the media, the environment, criminal justice, government, and politics. Launched on January 25, 2017, the show often includes discussion with other writers, reporters, artists, and thinkers. It regularly featured The Intercept editor and journalist Glenn Greenwald as well as senior correspondent, author, and journalist Naomi Klein. The editor-in-chief is Betsy Reed. Music for the show is created and performed by DJ Spooky.
The premier episode, on January 25, 2017, "The Clock Strikes Thirteen, Donald Trump is President" features an interview with Seymour Hersh, who criticizes the media's response to the alleged Russian hacking of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, calling the way the media went along with the story, "outrageous".
Deconstructed is a podcast hosted by The Intercept's Washington, D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim. The show was previously hosted by British political journalist and broadcaster Mehdi Hasan for its first two years, from 2018 to 2020. Grim took over as permanent host in October 2020 when Hasan began hosting a news broadcast for Peacock.
Murderville, GA is hosted by Liliana Segura and Jordan Smith, who cover a series of murders in a small Georgia town and the law enforcement investigation surrounding them.
Somebody is a podcast about a gunshot victim, Courtney Copeland, found outside a Chicago Police station, and the controversy around the official narrative.
In August 2016, The Intercept launched a Brazilian version, The Intercept Brasil, edited in Portuguese, aimed at Brazilian political news, and produced by a team of Brazilian journalists. The Intercept Brasil also features translated news from the English edition.
In June 2019, The Intercept Brasil released leaked Telegram messages exchanged between judge Sérgio Moro, prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol and other Operation Car Wash prosecutors.
Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, such as serious crimes, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. Practitioners sometimes use the terms "watchdog reporting" or "accountability reporting."
Pierre Morad Omidyar is a French-American billionaire technology entrepreneur, software engineer, and philanthropist. He is the founder of eBay where he served as chairman from 1998 to 2015. Omidyar and his wife Pamela are philanthropists who founded Omidyar Network in 2004.
Walter Haskell Pincus is a national security journalist. He reported for The Washington Post until the end of 2015. He has won several prizes including a Polk Award in 1977, a television Emmy in 1981, and shared a 2002 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting with five other Washington Post reporters, and the 2010 Arthur Ross Media Award from the American Academy for Diplomacy. Since 2003, he has taught at Stanford University's Stanford in Washington program.
Glenn Edward Greenwald is an American journalist, author, and lawyer.
Jeremy Scahill is an American investigative journalist, writer, a founding editor of the online news publication The Intercept and author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, which won the George Polk Book Award. His book Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield was published by Nation Books on April 23, 2013. On June 8, 2013, the documentary film of the same name, produced, narrated and co-written by Scahill, was released. It premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Laura Poitras is an American director and producer of documentary films.
Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) is a non-profit organization founded in 2012 to fund and support free speech and freedom of the press. The organization originally managed crowd-funding campaigns for independent journalistic organizations, but now pursues technical projects to support journalists' digital security and conducts legal advocacy for journalists.
Boundless Informant is a big data analysis and data visualization tool used by the United States National Security Agency (NSA). It gives NSA managers summaries of the NSA's worldwide data collection activities by counting metadata. The existence of this tool was disclosed by documents leaked by Edward Snowden, who worked at the NSA for the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Those disclosed documents were in a direct contradiction to the NSA's assurance to United States Congress that it does not collect any type of data on millions of Americans.
Edward Joseph Snowden is a former computer intelligence consultant who leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 when he was an employee and subcontractor for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). His disclosures revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments, and prompted a cultural discussion about national security and individual privacy.
Ongoing news reports in the international media have revealed operational details about the Anglophone cryptographic agencies' global surveillance of both foreign and domestic nationals. The reports mostly emanate from a cache of top secret documents leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, which he obtained whilst working for Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the largest contractors for defense and intelligence in the United States. In addition to a trove of U.S. federal documents, Snowden's cache reportedly contains thousands of Australian, British and Canadian intelligence files that he had accessed via the exclusive "Five Eyes" network. In June 2013, the first of Snowden's documents were published simultaneously by The Washington Post and The Guardian, attracting considerable public attention. The disclosure continued throughout 2013, and a small portion of the estimated full cache of documents was later published by other media outlets worldwide, most notably The New York Times, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Der Spiegel (Germany), O Globo (Brazil), Le Monde (France), L'espresso (Italy), NRC Handelsblad, Dagbladet (Norway), El País (Spain), and Sveriges Television (Sweden).
Global mass surveillance can be defined as the mass surveillance of entire populations across national borders.
First Look Media is an American non-profit media organization founded by Pierre Omidyar in October 2013 as a venue for "original, independent journalism".
Global surveillance and journalism is a subject covering journalism or reporting of governmental espionage, which gained worldwide attention after the Global surveillance disclosures of 2013 that resulted from Edward Snowden's leaks. Since 2013, many leaks have emerged from different government departments in the US, which confirm that the National Security Agency (NSA) spied on US citizens and foreign enemies alike. Journalists were attacked for publishing the leaks and were regarded in the same light as the whistleblowers who gave them the information. Subsequently, the US government made some arrests, which, to some people, affect freedom of the press.
MYSTIC is a former secret program used since 2009 by the US National Security Agency (NSA) to collect the metadata as well as the content of phone calls from several countries. The program was first revealed in March 2014, based upon documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
Citizenfour is a 2014 documentary film directed by Laura Poitras, concerning Edward Snowden and the NSA spying scandal. The film had its US premiere on October 10, 2014, at the New York Film Festival and its UK premiere on October 17, 2014, at the BFI London Film Festival. The film features Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, and was co-produced by Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, and Dirk Wilutzky, with Steven Soderbergh and others serving as executive producers. Citizenfour received critical acclaim upon release, and was the recipient of numerous accolades, including Best Documentary Feature at the 87th Academy Awards. This film is the third part to a 9/11 trilogy following My Country, My Country (2006) and The Oath (2010).
Betsy Reed is an American journalist and editor. Since January 2015, she has been editor-in-chief of The Intercept.
Reality Leigh Winner is an American former intelligence specialist. In 2018, she was convicted of "removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet" and given the longest sentence ever imposed for unauthorized release of government information to the media. The material in question originated with the National Security Agency (NSA).
James Ball is a British journalist and author. He has worked for The Grocer, The Guardian, WikiLeaks, BuzzFeed, The New European and The Washington Post and is the author of three books. He is the recipient of several awards for journalism and was a member of The Guardian team which won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism.
David Michael dos Santos Miranda is a Brazilian politician. He is a Federal Congressman representing the state of Rio de Janeiro, sworn in on 1 February 2019, and affiliated to the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL). Prior to that, he was a City Councilman representing the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Vaza Jato, roughly meaning Car Wash Leaks, is the term used by the Brazilian press for leaked conversations in the Telegram app about the actions, decisions and positions of officials conducting investigations for Operation Car Wash. These officials include former judge Sergio Moro and prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol. The conversations were reported by the journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept in June 2019. He believed this was one of the most important reports of his career.