Social media-based launches a website but its social-first approach remains central, the social-media newsroom led by Andy Carvin, launched its first dedicated website in beta last week. Part of the First Look family, made its debut in January, one of its peculiarities was that it didn’t have a website – it was designed to live within the social media ecosystem. But the new website won’t change the participatory nature of the journalism the network does, according to Europe anchor Malachy Browne, as Federica Cherubini reports.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | May 26, 2015

Carvin and his team of half a dozen journalists started out as hosts and producers embedded on various social media platforms to “produce native journalism for social media communities, in conjunction with members of those communities.”

Five months on and with the experience of real-time reporting on topics such as uprisings in Yemen, migration, natural disasters, and violence in Burundi, now has a home. The initial aim was to establish the operation within the communities of each social media platform, Carvin explained in a post announcing the website, in which he acknowledged that “one of the challenges of serving as a ‘social-first’ news startup is that it’s hard for people to get a sense of how our coverage on different news topics builds up over time”.

The new website will serve as a “sort of home base to document all the work” that has been done by the team, a place where all different platforms come together.

This doesn’t change the very nature of though, as Managing Editor and Europe Anchor Malachy Browne explained to the Editors Weblog. “The participatory journalism we’ve been doing on social doesn’t change. Indeed, two of our launch stories are written by people who came to us, and who we’ve engaged with before”, Browne said.’s social-first approach won’t in fact be affected by the presence of the website, he stressed, adding that “[it] gives us scope to do more, and indeed for our community to contribute.”

Together with posts about the daily coverage the team is following on social media and some in-depth stories developed expressly for the website, the main new feature is what they’ve called “ now“, a dashboard of the work across all channels.

“This brings our live coverage across all social platforms into a single stream […] Some social posts and content will likely be jumping off points for us to provide deeper context and analysis on certain stories. For instance, we’ve found that people engage with the process behind our journalism, and the website gives us greater space to lift the lid on those processes and share tips and tools with our audience.”, Browne said.

The team “intends to publish stories on the website regularly through the day, including Daily Digest but the rolling coverage stays on social.”

Asked if they plan to use different platforms to drive traffic towards the website, or if each channel will maintain a standalone existence, Browne replied:

‘Drive’ would be an inaccurate description. Yes, we’ll share stories on social, just as we did with our Medium features and Storify digests. But our goal remains to deliver trusted, inclusive journalism on social, to reach people where they naturally reside and involve relevant communities in the process. Our focus is on that.


Share via
Copy link