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First Look Media Keeps Building, Adds Comics Site The Nib to Stable of Web Properties

Think of it as a short-form video play.

The Nib / Kickstarter

First Look Media, the digital media company funded by eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar, has been slowly adding properties and growing its business since launching in 2013.

Here’s First Look’s latest news: The Nib, the popular comics site founded by Pulitzer finalist and Herblock Prize winner Matt Bors, is now part of the First Look family. The Nib was previously hosted at Medium, which Bors left amid last summer’s major editorial overhaul. The site will be relaunching this summer, with “an independent daily news publication” and a newsletter.

Though First Look’s formation was announced with much fanfare in the wake of the Snowden leak in 2013, it has been a bit of a rocky start for Omidyar’s $250 million new media venture. The Intercept slowly added staff and published irregularly at first. Tensions between well-known lefty journalist Matt Taibbi and First Look management led to Taibbi’s exit and the death of his to-be-launched politics and satire site, Racket.

But there have been signs of life at First Look over the last year. Intercept co-founder and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras started a short-form documentary film unit called Field of Vision. First Look was also involved in the production of the critically acclaimed feature film “Spotlight,” and it operates a social media news service called reported.ly, led by former NPR digital maven Andy Carvin.

Adam Pincus, First Look’s executive VP of programming and content, told Re/code in a phone interview that he has “been thinking a lot about editorial cartooning” as a way for First Look to get more wrapped up in short-form video content — basically, stuff you might share on social media.

“The Nib works as it is and in its current form [as a website],” Pincus said. “But the digital experience can be improved upon. … We’re definitely looking at it as a source of material we can … turn into video storytelling.”

While First Look may be best known for The Intercept and the exploits of co-founders Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, the company is doing what basically every other major media business is doing right now: Focusing on producing lots and lots of video. There are plans to launch a “media platform” that will publish content to services like Hulu, Netflix and HBO, and First Look President Michael Bloom told Poynter in December that there are plans for more podcasts, feature films and TV shows.

Since leaving Medium last year, The Nib founder Matt Bors launched a successful $52,000 Kickstarter campaign to publish a book full of work from Nib contributors*. In 2012, Bors was awarded the Herblock Prize, which is a big deal in the cartoon world. He was the first winner to come from the world of alt-weeklies.

* Disclosure: I kicked in some cash for a copy of the book. It’s very good.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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