Today is a sad, sad day for local journalism. As of 5pm, both DNAinfo and Gothamist have been indefinitely shut down by owner and businessman Joe Ricketts. Both sites’ archives are currently down, with all past content redirecting to a message on DNAinfo’s domain from Ricketts explaining that, “DNAinfo is, at the end of the day, a business.”
The entire staff of both publications have been laid off, putting 115 journalists out of work, according to the New York Times.
Ricketts, a longtime Republican donor and Trump-supporter, had previously said he would shutdown DNAinfo should staffers unionize. A week ago, they did, but there’s no mention of the union issue in his goodbye message. Just money.
While none of either publication’s articles are currently available via the surface internet, fear not – you can find the archives in the Wayback Machine.
Strangely, the URL for Ricketts’ message includes /pfizer-affordable-housing-jewish-hispanic-ethnic-tension.
Well, folks, here’s to journalism. Now everyone go buy a reporter a drink.
To shut down a website is already devastating to @DNAinfoNY staff. To wipe all their clips from the internet is ruthless.
— Nicole Levy (@AubernaLevy) November 2, 2017
— Eric Adams (@BPEricAdams) November 2, 2017
I am sad for New York and all of its neighborhoods.
Thank you for the good wishes.
Please keep supporting journalism in any way you can.
— Rachel H. Smith (@rachelholliday) November 2, 2017
Thank you to everyone DMing me. I am going to get very drunk. Please be aware that a craven piece of shit billionaire killed journalism
— Good Idea Dave (@DaveCoIon) November 2, 2017
— Christopher Robbins (@ChristRobbins) November 2, 2017
Ricketts could’ve left Gothamist/DNA up for the programmatic ad clicks and kept a revenue stream. Deleting archives isn’t a financial move.
— Owen Davis (@odavis_) November 2, 2017
You can read Ricketts’ message, and nothing else, on both websites.