Laura Poitras—the Citizenfour director and award-winning filmmaker who helped start The Intercept's parent company First Look Media—lashed out Wednesday after layoffs were announced internally at the publication, according to emails obtained by The Daily Beast. “I am sickened by your decision to eliminate the research team, which has been the beating heart of the newsroom since First Look Media was founded, and has overseen the protection of the [NSA leaker Edward] Snowden archive,” she wrote. “I am also sickened by your joint decision to shut down the Snowden archive, which I was informed of only yesterday—a decision made without consulting me or the board of directors.” Poitras also called the email announcing the layoffs from CEO of First Look Media, Michael Bloom, an “attempt to paper over these firings” and claimed it was “not appropriate” for such “devastating news.” Bloom's email announced that First Look Media would be letting go about 4 percent of their staff. “We don’t take these decisions lightly, but as an important step to better align ourselves operationally for the future,” he wrote.
-- Maxwell Tani