On Nov. 2, DNAinfo and Gothamist LLC were shut down, following a vote by newsroom workers at both organizations to join the labor union Writers Guild of America, East. The decision came from CEO Joe Ricketts.
“The decision by the editorial team to unionize is simply another competitive obstacle making it harder for the business to be financially successful,” said a DNAinfo spokesperson.
DNAinfo was a powerhouse in local reporting, often picking up on street-level stories that larger papers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal would not allocate resources to covering. Gothamist provided analyses of New York City’s culture, from the food scene to the fashion world. Together, the two websites brought information about New York’s goings-on to at least 9 million people, according to Ricketts.
Ricketts choosing to shut down the companies rather than selling is clearly a reactionary move that will erode the former employees’ livelihoods.
Moreover, closing DNAinfo and Gothamist will leave many communities around the city in the dark and without substantial neighborhood journalistic coverage, despite existing in one of the world’s capitals of journalism.