Why you should care
Because these people live — and sometimes risk their lives — for the news.
As Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar and other outsiders throw their hats into the news ring, here are nine of OZY’s favorite ex-journos who decided to move in the opposite direction, and who — far from being yesterday’s news, or newswriters — went on to even greater things outside the realm of print media.
Khadija Ismayilova walks around Azerbaijan — a country that is ranked in the top 10 for worst record of jailing journalists — with a bodyguard. She’s pitched a tent in her own apartment to avoid video cameras. She says pro-government newspapers are smearing not only her own character, but also her family’s. Sound paranoid? Not when you’re a radio host working for a U.S.-funded news agency operating in countries with limited press freedom.
It’s no secret that in the constantly changing global media landscape, one of the greatest losses has been investigative journalism. Now, new-media organizations are rolling up their sleeves to try to solve the problem. Enter Indie Journalism and its young founders — four from Brazil, one from France, and all determined to change how investigative journalism is reported and read.
Nearly 6 feet tall, openly gay, unabashedly liberal and a self-described nerd, it was hard to imagine, even 10 years ago, that someone matching Rachel Maddow’s description would become a major cable news personality. But her ability, not unlike Rush Limbaugh’s, to combine humor and levity with outrage and argument was apparent from the very first episode of Air America’s version of her show, which debuted on April 15, 2005.
Bossip founder and Moguldom Media Group CEO Jamarlin Martin’s ability to chase bold visions steadily and systematically might be the secret to any successful business venture. Many investors would run from an online media venture — fast. Today, even top publishers are seeing flat or negative growth. And in such a crowded market, it’s hard enough to snag viewers, much less monetize them. Which is exactly why the former paralegal bought a $6 domain name and launched an African-American-oriented celebrity gossip website in 2006.