4 Former Vice Journalists Launch Independent Tech Publication

404 Media was co-founded by former Motherboard editor-in-chief Jason Koebler, with Emanuel Maiberg, Samantha Cole and Joseph Cox

404 Media co-founders
Sharon Attia

Four former Motherboard journalists launched an independent tech publication, 404 Media, after leaving their roles at Vice. 

The publication will be a journalist-owned digital media company that will bring “unparalleled access,” to internet and technology reporting. 

Co-founders Jason Koebler, Emanuel Maiberg, Samantha Cole, and Joseph Cox all came from Vice’s science and technology vertical, Motherboard, following the post-bankruptcy sale of the company. 

404 Media intends to cover “underreported stories from the digital and IRL underground.” According to a press release, the independent outlet will publish reporting, blogs, investigations, and scoops on topics such as hacking, AI, consumer rights, sex, and “the democratization of the internet.” 404 Media will specialize in “prying documents from government agencies with public record requests.” 

The tech publication will be supported by a tiered subscription service model which starts at $10 per month, or $100 annually. 

“404 Media was created to publish the stories only we can tell,” Maiberg said in a statement. “We’ll go where others won’t, talk to people who are overlooked, and expose those who do not want to be seen.”

Motherboard’s former editor-in-chief, Jason Koebler, said “We want to give our subscribers stories to talk about with their friends at the bar, stories that will take over the internet, be cited in Congressional investigations, and turned into movies, podcasts, books, and TV shows.” 

According to Cole, “404 Media is going back to the basics of what journalism is all about: speaking truth to power and telling unheard stories.” While Cox said that “A sustainable business will allow us to focus on producing impactful journalism.” 

The founders intend to differentiate themselves from their previous place of employment claiming “404 Media is not Motherboard 2.0.” The publication will be experimenting with new coverage topics and styles. 

Vice Media has been consistently shedding talent since it was acquired in a post-bankruptcy sale by a Fortress Investment Group consortium. Vice had stumbled on financial difficulties and filed for Chapter 11, a massive fall from grace for a media company once valued at $5.7 billion. 

At the beginning of August, Koebler and Maiberg both departed their Motherboard roles to pursue other opportunities.