Reported.ly, the newsroom experiment that leverages social media to report on issues around the world, announced that it will be suspending operations. The publication placed the blame on First Look Media, its main employer and investor, who recently opted to “part ways with us, so we will no longer receive financial support from the company.” Unless Reported.ly finds another backer, it will cease operations on August 31.
“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,” wrote editor-in-chief Andy Carvin in a short Medium post. However, he acknowledged that any move is fraught with risk, saying that it requires “the necessary funding for our work to continue” and that by not securing its financial future, its team will be broken up.
Launched in 2014, Reported.ly became an interesting experiment that used social media “anchors” to report on global issues. It was created under the auspices of First Look Media, a news organization created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar in 2013. The publication was started by Carvin, who sought to expand on his use of Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, and other social networks as an extension to reporting. He leveraged his experience doing this while at NPR covering the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and many other global events.
“We want to tell stories from around the world, serving these online communities as our primary platforms for reporting — not secondary to some website or app,” Carvin once stated in an introductory post for Reported.ly. “Forget native advertising — we want to produce native journalism for social media communities, in conjunction with members of those communities.”
Reported.ly is just one of the two publications backed by Omidyar’s First Look Media. The other one is The Intercept, which also launched in 2014 and is run by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill.