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Aug. 8, 2016, 11:22 a.m.
LINK: medium.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joseph Lichterman   |   August 8, 2016

Reported.ly, the social news site funded by Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media, said Monday that is will “suspend its operations” as of August 31. In a Medium post, Reported.ly editor Andy Carvin said that First Look “has chosen to part ways with us, so we will no longer receive financial support from the company.”

Our future beyond August 31 is unknown. The team would love to find a new home for reported.ly, but we recognize the challenges that await us. Over the coming days and weeks, we’re going to explore our options, including re-establishing reported.ly at another news outlet or creating our own independent entity. Either solution would require the necessary funding for our work to continue; otherwise the team will have no choice but to go our separate ways.

Carvin, who made a name for himself covering the Arab Spring on social media, joined First Look in 2014. With a team of journalists around the world, Reported.ly’s mandate was to cover breaking news primarily on social media and other distributed platforms. It launched — without a dedicated homepage — in January 2015, just hours before the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

“When the first reports came in, our team had been working together officially for less than 48 hours,” Carvin told the Lab at the time. “But I think everyone’s instincts kicked in immediately.”

About six months after it launched, Reported.ly debuted a homepage of its own as it looked to build a larger audience:

For Reported.ly to gain an audience outside of Twitter-obsessed news junkies, it needed to build its own space to follow stories at a less frenetic pace. “The ephemeral nature of what we’re doing makes it hard for people to see what exactly we do,” said Carvin. “If we solely focused on people following us in real-time on social platforms, we could create a perfect experience for them, but it would still be a small minority of people consuming news.”

Omidyar founded First Look Media in 2013 with a pledge of a $250 million investment with the idea that it would become a collection of digital magazines. The company has had a number of stumbles and changes in direction; in 2014, the political satire site Racket was shut down before it even launched after editor Matt Taibbi left the site.

Recently, First Look has redefined itself as a digital media company and studio. It still publishes sites such as The Intercept and The Nib, but it also supports the Press Freedom Litigation Fund and co-produced and helped fund the Oscar-winning (and John Oliver spoofed) movie Spotlight.

Anna Holmes, the former Fusion editorial director and founding editor of Jezebel, joined First Look to create a yet-to-be-named platform that will be focused on “developing, surfacing, creating and amplifying creative storytelling in predominantly visual media with a focus on independent voices.”

Even as First Look continues to reshape itself, news junkies on Twitter lamented the news of Reported.ly’s demise and hoped that it would be able to find funding and support elsewhere:

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Don’t click this: When should news organizations use “nofollow” links?
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