Oct 10, 2014 · 1 minute

Eyebrows were raised in media land when press critic Jay Rosen announced he was joining Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media. Especially notable was his assertion that working for Omidyar meant he would no longer be able to comment honestly on the quarter-billion dollar media startup:

From here on, I am a player in NewCo. I’m not just giving advice to a company that pre-dated my involvement. I am involved in the effort to create something. I am being paid $ for my participation. Unlike an “advisory” position there is no real separation between me and the people who are building NewCo from scratch. Therefore I have to publicly abandon any position as an observer or independent analyst of Pierre Omidyar’s new venture in news. Out of the press box and onto the field.
Today, Rosen has announced that he's quitting First Look...
There is no drama and not much of a story to it. After the first six months of giving shape to the new company, the founders and editors simply didn’t have a lot for me to do. Meanwhile, it was difficult for me to comment or write about First Look because I was officially involved in it.
Regardless of what this tells us about the state of First Look, at least now Rosen is free to tell us the unvarnished truth about his former paymasters, right?

Right?

Uhh...

I recently concluded that I could do more for First Look by writing about it from the outside, and I met with John Temple — president of the company — to let him know that.
So, Jay Rosen is leaving First Look to free him up to do more to promote First Look's interests. Huzzah, journalism!

[Photo credit: Joi Ito (Creative Commons)]