Eric Wemple at the Washington Post has now expanded the announcement somewhat:
The interview is sure to produce some memorable exchanges, but the way that NBC News pulled off the coup is noteworthy as well. NBC News has a “collaboration agreement” with the outfit that these days publishes Greenwald’s work — First Look Media, the venture funded by billionaire and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Greenwald is a staffer at the Intercept, First Look’s digital magazine on national security matters.
So did the Greenwald “collaboration agreement” snare the Snowden interview for NBC News? For starters, Snowden is a strong-willed sort unlikely to take interview orders from anyone, though his relationship with Greenwald is airtight (he’s in a just-published selfie with Greenwald & Co. in Russia). According to the network source, NBC News approached Snowden via several avenues, one of them being through Greenwald. Though Greenwald didn’t negotiate the terms of the agreement, the NBC News source concedes that Greenwald is among a small number of people who can assist in making contact with Snowden, who is living in Moscow.
The agreement between NBC News and First Look Media contains no financial terms, says the NBC source. It’s merely what the network calls a co-reporting arrangement, in which the two participating outlets share resources in working on the almost always complicated surveillance stories that spring from the Snowden document dump. Responding to an e-mail inquiry, Greenwald himself says that the agreement “simply provides that we will work together on selected NSA stories, on a story-by-story basis, when it will help the reporting to do so.”
To complicate matters a bit, Greenwald worked as a freelancer for NBC News in between his departure from the Guardian and the launch of the Intercept. Together they produced four stories, with Greenwald receiving $750 a pop. In this February investigation, for instance, NBC News used Snowden documents to expose how British intelligence waged war on hackers. Greenwald is credited as a “special contributor” for the piece. In January, NBC News published a story stemming from Snowden documents on how British intelligence spied on Facebook and YouTube. That one, too, listed Greenwald as a special contributor.
There is more at the link.
If anyone wants to look into it, there is most certainly a story to be found in the various arrangements that have been made with and by Omidyar, his employees, and the media enterprises they have partnered with, but I don't know who would ((dare)) find out the whole story and publish it.
We live in interesting times...
[Note: there have been previous indications of the partnership between NBC and Greenwald/First Look, though the first time I heard it mentioned explicitly was on Tuesday. If anyone has an earlier explicit reference, it would be interesting to put together a timeline...]