Intercept Co-Founder and Whistleblower Champion Laura Poitras Says She Was Fired for Criticizing Editors Over Reality Winner Reporting Failures

Photo credit: Robin Marchant, Getty Images.

In an open letter published Thursday, journalist and filmmaker Laura Poitras said that she was fired from the company she co-founded with Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald, First Look Media, because she publicly criticized The Intercept — the company’s online news site — for mis-handling a story about national security whistleblower Reality Winner.

Poitras explained that she was summarily let go in November 2020, two months after speaking to the New York Times about what she calls The Intercept’s “failure” to protect Winner, “and the cover-up and lack of accountability that followed, and after years of raising concerns internally about patterns of discrimination and retaliation.”

In 2017, Winner, then a 25-year-old linguist with
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