First Look Media’s Topic.com Is Leaning on Video And Illustrations to Tell Stories
It was circa 2010 when Anna Holmes says she started to fall out of love with digital media. The web, once an exciting place where discussion could flourish, had, in Holmes’ view, become home to a series of parallel monologues as people increasingly talked at each other. Hot takes had taken over the web — including Jezebel, where she was editor — and become increasingly identical and predicable. Nuance, she believed, was slowly dying.
Holmes hopes that Topic.com, her new project at First Look Media, will help rekindle her love for the web. The consumer-facing publication, published monthly, is designed to be the antithesis of the kinds of publications that induced her disillusionment: Rather than focus on text to tell stories, Topic.com is highly visual, and will be built around video, photography, and illustration. Furthermore, the necessarily extended development times of these visual projects means that Topic.com is, almost by nature, largely removed from the news cycle. As with magazines, this will give it time to breathe and produce longer, more considered work, Holmes said.