September 1, 2016 Last Updated 2:07 pm

Social media-based news venture shuttered, but won’t be not forgotten

The First Look Media venture has had its funding pulled, and at least so far no traditional media brand has stepped up to keep the experiment alive – let’s hope that situation gets reversed soon

The idea was simply enough: use social media exclusively as the distribution vehicle for news. Smart, in that it certainly cuts costs, is natively digital, and is where the readers would be.

But like many digital media ventures, First Look Media’s would have a monetization problem – and so the funding was pulled and yesterday, August 31, the venture was shuttered.

The team was small, but the talent behind the venture was enormous (in my view).

Andy Carvin was National Public Radio’s senior product manager for online communities, and in 2011 The Washington Post called him “a one-man Twitter news bureau.”

“Carvin is tweeting, relentlessly,” Paul Farhi wrote. “Seven days a week, often up to 16 hours a day. He once went 20 hours straight, pumping out more than 1,400 brief messages on his Twitter account, @acarvin. That’s his guess, at least. It’s easy to lose count.”

Asteris Masouras, who works (and tweets) from Thessaloniki, Greece, is someone everyone should know, informing readers of events from the region, especially the European refugee crisis, for years now. The news that he had joined the effort gave the venture instant credibility in my eyes, and made their account a must-follow choice from the beginning.

“For now, we’re going to catch our breath, stretch our legs and think about what we want to be if it gets the chance to grow up,” the team wrote yesterday. “Then we’re going to do whatever we can to find a good home for us, so we can continue to serve the online communities that have been so supportive of us for the last 20 months. It may not pan out, but at least we’ll be able to hold our heads high and say that we tried.”

I don’t see why another media company would not come forward to fund – it’s costs would be low, that’s for sure. It’s not as if its staff was flying around the world reporting, that’s not the concept. I certainly would be happy to absorb them into TNM Digital Media… unless, of course, they want to eat.

But, in the end, the perfect home for might actually be someplace like Verizon or Univision, a media company looking beyond traditional media.

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