Gothamist, DNAinfo shut down after staff writers join union


So, Gothamist and DNAinfo spontaneously shut down today by its owner, billionaire Joe Ricketts. This came as an initial shock to many, but it now seems like an aggressive move against unionization, as the staff writers voted to join the Writer’s Guild of America East shortly before the shutdown.

This seems like a wholly unsurprising anti-laborer act in an economy rife with them, and the fact that Ricketts chose to burn the whole company down rather than provide livable benefits for its employees is telling.


It’s also a part of a larger trend of billionaires suing or buying/shuttering companies they don’t like out of existence. After acquiring the Gothamist / DNAinfo, Ricketts explicitly instructed writers not to cover things he was politically opposed to, and deleted previous news stories that were not flattering to him.


I have heard so many stories of stores closing out at the mere mention of union in a casual chat. This is brutality, making examples out of people’s lives


As a billionaire he could’ve at least given it a go. Maybe a unionized workforce would’ve been able to perform better if journalists weren’t burning out left and right.

115 new, highly qualified applicants for jobs in the NY Metro area is also going to be bad news for unproven journalists trying to launch a career as well. The zero sum game of the job market is a big part of what unions should be helping people avoid.


man this is incredibly fucked.

journalism just seems like such a brutal business to be working in right now, it’s pretty disheartening.