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The Media

New Victims in the 'Billionaire War on Journalism' (newsweek.com) 207

Newsweek offers a new reminder that internet journalism can vanish in a corporate shutdown or be "sued out of existence" -- so it certainly isn't permanent. Writers at the local New York City news sites DNAinfo and Gothamist -- as well as Gothamist's network of city-specific sister sites, such as LAist and DCist -- learned this chilling lesson on Thursday, when billionaire Joe Ricketts abruptly shut down the publications and fired their employees. The decision has been widely regarded as a form of retaliation in response to the newsroom's vote last week to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East. Worse, for a full 20 hours after the news broke, Gothamist.com and DNAinfo.com effectively didn't exist: Any link to the sites showed only Ricketts's statement about his decision, which claims the business was not profitable enough to support the journalism...

The larger tragedy is a nationwide death of local news. Alt-weeklies are flailing as ad revenue dries up. The Village Voice, a legendary New York paper, published its final print issue in September. Houston Press just laid off its staff and ended its print edition this week. Countless stories won't be covered, because the journalistic institutions to tell them no longer exist. Who benefits from DNAinfo being shuttered? Billionaires. Shady landlords. Anyone DNAinfo reported critically on over the years. Who loses? Anyone who lives in the neighborhoods DNAinfo and Gothamist helped cover.

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New Victims in the 'Billionaire War on Journalism'

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  • by UsuallyReasonable ( 2715457 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:13PM (#55494009)
    You want moneylosing local journalism, fund it yourself. Don't expect others to fund it for you.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:16PM (#55494025)

      These newspapers were already losing money. He was paying for them out of his personal wealth. Forming a union is going to drive costs up, not down. They basically wanted to take more money out of his pocket. I would have closed them also.

      • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:41PM (#55494129)
        It seems to me like this is a good opportunity for the former staff to start their own site. If they collectively own their own business then they don't really have need for a union and since the closed down the companies entirely, its not as though only half of the staff got laid off which makes it hard to start a new business due to lack of key people. The only thing that will have changed is that the owner is out of the picture. I'll assume that they probably don't have the capital for an office right away, but they may be able to secure a loan, or probably just work from home until things get up and running.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 05, 2017 @02:12PM (#55494251)
          I work at a company that is owned by the employees and we are in dire, dire need of a union. The thing is, while employees may have ownership shares held for them in a trust, they have no say in any of the business decisions and the shares of stock function in no way that gives them any votes or power of any kind. The company is run in a dictatorial fashion for the most part, and all decisions that hurt employees on a daily basis are justified because it supposedly will benefit their ownership stake. People are quickly let go should they complain. Union is a dirty word, but we really, really need one and we shouldn't in this situation.
          • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @02:30PM (#55494345)

            I work at a company that is owned by the employees and we are in dire, dire need of a union. The thing is, while employees may have ownership shares held for them in a trust, they have no say in any of the business decisions and the shares of stock function in no way that gives them any votes or power of any kind.

            You should tell your managers that they are doing it wrong. Harvard Business School did a study [hbr.org] of employee owned companies, and found that they generally outperform competitors, but only if employees participated in decision making and felt involved in setting goals and resolving problems.

            • Nice link.
            • by dryeo ( 100693 )

              That's socialism, so obviously won't work. Next you'll find some study that shows co-ops are efficient at infrastructure, more socialist propaganda.
              Big business in partnership with big government is the true way to have profitable businesses.

              • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @09:50PM (#55496169)

                That's socialism

                Nope, it is capitalism. ESOPs require the employees to buy or earn their shares. Once vested, they can sell their shares, either on an exchange or back to the company. Not all employees participate, and of those that do ownership is not equally distributed.

                In principle, in is no different than any other stock ownership, and you can't get more capitalist than that.

                The only real "socialist" component, is that most ESOPs are part of tax deferred retirement plans, so there is some taxpayer funded subsidy upfront. But most retirement savings are subsidized, so that is nothing special.

                • by dryeo ( 100693 )

                  Socialist in the sense that the workers own and run the company, capitalist in the sense that the workers raised the capital.
                  There's no reason that socialism means no capital or no market, at that a market is a good way to price stuff and show efficiency, even in a socialist society, though in theory a socialist market shouldn't be so cutthroat.

          • by tomhath ( 637240 )

            he thing is, while employees may have ownership shares held for them in a trust, they have no say in any of the business decisions and the shares of stock function in no way that gives them any votes or power of any kind

            Then it isn't really employee owned, is it? Because if they owned it they would have voting rights.

        • There were a hundred writers, so we can estimate at least another 50 employees selling ads, doing to accounting, running the servers, etc. So minimum $150,000 / month for salaries. Employee benefits, payroll taxes, office space, etc would be at least $50,000 / month. So bare minimum expenses $200,000 / month. Revenue was about $110,000/ month. Why would the writers want to work another job to support the $80,000 / month such a site loses, and work at the new employee-owned company?

        • Only problem with this is that like any business, it takes quite a lot of capital to get it going and journalism not exactly being a very high paying field anymore getting that capital is going to be an issue. Sure, business loans and investors do exist, but with per-click advertisement revenue having gone down the toilet and people just not wanting to actually pay for their online news after news organizations have been giving it out for free for so many years both of those are going to be an issue. Invest
      • If he shut the business down because he believed unionization would increase costs, that is against the law and he might end up paying their salaries for the next decade!

        To be legal, normally you'd have to wait until costs suddenly increased, and then you can point at real, actual increases that are not based on personal opinion about unions.

        • It is not against the law to go out of business when you are losing money, even if your employees want to unionize (and increase your rate of loss). There are laws against resisting Unionization in many states but none of them prevent a business owner from closing the business because it's been unprofitable and it is going to become even more so. No law can require a business owner to keep dumping money into a losing proposition.

          If employees want to unionize in pro-union states is either allow it or go ou
      • That's a terrible business decision. Why wouldn't you attempt to sell the business to recoup some of your losses, or even potentially profit?
        And why would you have even bought a 14-year old company, 8 months ago, without doing your due diligence to understand the potential for profit? Face it, this was clearly union busting. They were told the company would shut down if they voted to unionize, they voted to do so, then they were shut down 1 week later, before any kind of discussion about contracts and cost
        • Oh and by the way, Gothamist was profitable. So that blows any financial argument out of the water, at least until contract negotiation time.
    • by fafalone ( 633739 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @04:24PM (#55494877)
      He bought the site just a few months ago. You really think he spent all that money acquiring it, then just realized it wasnt profitable? And then didn't even try to sell it to someone else? Come on.
    • by fafalone ( 633739 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @07:42PM (#55495703)
      Gothamist was profitable. DNAinfo was not. So why shut down the profitable part? Oh yeah, this was union-busting, not a financial decision.
      • The company as a whole needed to be shut down in order to avoid any charges from the NRLB (see Textile Workers Union v. Darlington Mfg. Co. 380 U.S. 263 (1965)). If there hadn't been a union, they could have shut down the unprofitable parts. I guess that is irony.
    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      You want moneylosing local journalism, fund it yourself. Don't expect others to fund it for you.

      Thank Deity we have laws here in the UK that prevent rich people from just suing things they don't like out of existence. If a paper publishes something damaging against a rich person here, their ultimate defence is demonstrating that it was factual. If they can do that, they'll have high priced QC's (very expensive lawyers) knocking down their doors because they'll get their exorbitant fee from the losers (the rich people suing). Its nice for the little guy to be given a fair playing field.

      Also, its goo

      • What? The UK is unique. Being factual is _not_ a defense against libel in the UK. All they have to prove is you were 'being mean to them'. The Chiropractors won a fairly famous case based on that.

        South Park makes jokes on it. Tom Cruise: 'I'm going to sue you in England!'

  • Local Blogs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by borcharc ( 56372 ) *

    There are plenty of local blogs out there that cover fairly low-level neighborhood news. They don't have massive readership but I see them shared all over facebook when they publish something interesting. The best part about it is the writers are mostly doing it as a hobby.

    • Re:Local Blogs (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:25PM (#55494065)

      The "best part" is that these blogs filled with innuendo, incorrect information, and metric-tons of bias are done by hobbyists. Brilliant!

      • Re: Local Blogs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:30PM (#55494081)

        Yeah, that's my complaint with them, too. The quality is often total crap, and the bias is thick and obvious. The articles are less about journalism and reporting the facts than they are editorials pushing a narrative or agenda. Some of them are so bad that they make /. look good!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Yeah. Not like any "real" news outlets. No innuendo or parade of anonymous sources telling stories on the hairy edge of believability. No factual errors that can't be debunked with a quick look at a map or consultation with a calculator. No sir.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Look at the sarcastic idiot with a proper name. As usual, the right wing conflates the minor inaccuracy of the major media with the major inaccuracies of the non-major media and tries to draw moral equivalence. I don't know whom to be more disgusted with - idiot right winger here or the morons who modded him up.

          By your "news has to be perfect or it's all crap" standard, why should we take time to find out facts at all? Which, of course is the point of your rant - to promote and perpetuate the ignorance of

          • When facts fail, bring the insults. Another propaganda tactic one finds in ample supply at the MSM. Usually it's more politely phrased than this to maintain the figleaf of civilized discourse, but it's there.

            That said, I'm feeling gregarious today so I'll respond to your insults with civil conversation and present an example of the kind of propaganda the MSM engages in all the damn time. The following NYT article [nytimes.com] contains a "minor factual error" that's not at all germane to the topic of the story: it refer
            • The irony is that he was "unarmed" in the sense that he was not holding a weapon, nor was he actually reaching for one. He would probably be alive today had he not behaved responsibly and told the officer who stopped him that he was in possession of a firearm. That statement apparently made the officer nervous enough to shoot Castille who was in fact reaching for his wallet.

              And why was he stopped?

              Kelly confirmed the authenticity of the pre-stop police audio, in which one officer reports that the driver re

          • Re:Local Blogs (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Migraineman ( 632203 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @06:34PM (#55495449)
            There's an old adage - "Facts are reported; news is produced." You might want to try to comprehend the subtle difference between the two.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ChrisMaple ( 607946 )
        So much better if innuendo, incorrect information, and bias comes from paid professionals.
      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        > The "best part" is that these blogs filled with innuendo, incorrect information, and metric-tons of bias are done by hobbyists. Brilliant!

        In other words, they're just like CNN and Fox News.

        • Re:Local Blogs (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Salgak1 ( 20136 ) <salgak.speakeasy@net> on Sunday November 05, 2017 @04:59PM (#55495057) Homepage

          > The "best part" is that these blogs filled with innuendo, incorrect information, and metric-tons of bias are done by hobbyists. Brilliant!

          In other words, they're just like CNN and Fox News.

          What's sad, is that the best coverage of U.S. news seems to come from the UK. The Mail, the Telegraph, the Beeb, and, occaisionally, the Guardian , , ,

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by morkk ( 42729 )

            That's a nice little homage to the Grauniad ;-)

            But proposing the Daily Mail as a news site is a couple of million miles off target.

      • So ... you wanna say that they are a pretty good replacement for local papers? If they now have some "information" about the sales from local stores that drop their prices from three times Amazon's price to twice it, it would be complete.

    • Re:Local Blogs (Score:4, Insightful)

      by epine ( 68316 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:26PM (#55494071)

      The best part about it is the writers are mostly doing it as a hobby.

      I'm not ready yet to permanently divide the world into billionaires and hobbyists, though I can almost see this day coming in my lifetime.

      • Re:Local Blogs (Score:5, Interesting)

        by currently_awake ( 1248758 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:49PM (#55494185)
        We still have government funded news sites. The BBC and Al-Jazeera both do good work. They might be under pressure to not report negatively on their patron but there are enough of them (with different patrons) to fill in the gaps. The TV networks once funded news sites as a status thing because news isn't profitable.
        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

          Let's not forget NPR and PBS.

          Although the average "advocate" seem to think they're only worth the 5% of of their operating cost (the part the government actually pays for).

        • The BBCs news site has gone drastically down hill in recent years - it used to be my go-to site, but their recent design update basically reduced actual news content on the front page to around 30% of content. The rest of the space is taken up with "most read", "most watched" lists (both 10 item lists, which are styled to take up the same space as the news content blocks around them), "Full Story" magazine style human interest, which has an equal space dedicated to it as the top news block, "Must See" cont

        • Where I live the only public broadcaster left is also the only media outlet that held the Government to account over the previous three terms of conservative party dominance.*
          Their reward was nine years of funding freezes, while the corporate media (owned largely by two massive multinationals) tugged the forelock and published media releases without question.
          The media landscape where I live is about as bad as it could be at the moment, largely due to media consolidation, but there seems to be a few gree
        • by mjwx ( 966435 )

          We still have government funded news sites. The BBC and Al-Jazeera both do good work. They might be under pressure to not report negatively on their patron but there are enough of them (with different patrons) to fill in the gaps. The TV networks once funded news sites as a status thing because news isn't profitable.

          The Beeb is still pretty good with political news, they'll happily dish the dirt out on the government in power (be it Labour or Tory) as well as the opposition but I feel they weren't harsh enough on Brexit, the BBC was too afraid of upsetting people on that subject so I felt their efforts were half hearted. When the head of the BoE says that the UK would be in a boom if not for Brexit I tend to believe that over Nigel Farage.

      • My hobby is being a billionaire, you insensitive clod!

    • I've found https://www.nextdoor.com/ [nextdoor.com] to be a far more reliable source of what's going on in my neighborhood than anything else.

      • by Salgak1 ( 20136 )

        I've found https://www.nextdoor.com/ [nextdoor.com] to be a far more reliable source of what's going on in my neighborhood than anything else.

        I concur. Our local discussions on NextDoor brought up issues that didn't even make the remarkably bad bi-weekly local paper. . .

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:23PM (#55494055)
    Using money to take control of media. It worked for Gawker. Gawker's pretty well disliked for their tabloid journalism, but they did a lot of real journalism on the side and used the tabloid stuff to pay for it. That's why Thiel shut them down. They'd done exposes into some of his dirty dealings in finance (and no, it wasn't because they outed him as gay).

    So get used to this. When they can't crush they'll buy and vice versa. If you want the kind of muck racking that shines a light on the bad parts of the world you've got to pay for it somehow. That used to be the tabloids, but folks seem to have forgotten that, and all that's left is corporate propaganda paid for to push their message.
    • by reanjr ( 588767 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:33PM (#55494093) Homepage

      This could be a great exit strategy for small news organizations. Focus on digging up dirt on billionaires with the goal of getting acquired and shutdown by the billionaires. That way the billionaires are funding their own unwanted public attention.

    • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:44PM (#55494149) Journal

      Gawker's pretty well disliked for their tabloid journalism,

      It's not just the half-assed bullshit "reporting" that landed Gawker on a lot of people's shit lists. I wrote those assholes off for the stunt that got them banned from the CES, years before they tried to destroy the career of the guy they stole that iPhone prototype from.

      Gawker is lucky that Apple didn't crush them like a bug and get a dozen of them tossed in jail for theft and attempted extortion.

      -jcr

    • Personally, I hated Gawker ever since they fired Original Wonkette and replaced her with a man using the same pseudonym.

      Back when they were known for being the most over-the-top tabloid comedy-news. The news was real, but the commentary was comedy. It became a whole genre on TV! But without OW the comedy was too weak to pull it off. Same thing with the TV genre; people tried it with weak comedians for years and it sucked. Then they tried it with quality acts and it took over late-night! Gawker did it in rev

      • The original Wonkette wasn't fired [wikipedia.org]. Gawker's site made her so famous that she landed a book deal, and left the site to focus on promoting her book-writing career.

        I agree with that the style of Gawker's blogs - Valleywag was another one of them - was extremely entertaining while also being informative with occasional bursts of actual investigative journalism.
    • TMZ already does this. Ironically they sometimes break news before the big guys because they can afford the reporters. I don't remember the exact numbers, but a NYTimes reporter was lamenting how TMZ had like a dozen reporters at the LA courthouse all the time and the NYT's only had one occasionally. TMZ will pay for tips which also gives them an advantage according the NYT reporter. Interesting times. And yes, full disclosure, I check out TMZ's website from time to time to see if they got a scoop.

  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:27PM (#55494073)
    Please. A guy who's using his personal cash to prop up money-losing city-branded "news" web sites decides that there's no prospect of the operations continuing, especially if his employees decide to install the overhead associated with paying union bosses and having to treat every employee as if they are all equally productive, motivated, resourceful, dedicated, and generally as valuable as the next. So he bows to the inevitable and shuts down to stop the bleeding. The OP, of course, has to spin this as Eeeevil Corporatism and the usual histrionics.

    I wonder how the OP feels about the fact that the National Geographic media operation was quickly and spectacularly swirling the toiled and about to fold and take hundreds of jobs with it, without a single white knight showing up to bail them out and fix what was broken, except for (horror! tragedy!) Rupert Murdoch. Now they're back on their feet and solvent and writers, photographers, production people and the rest still have jobs there. Eeeeevil corporatism! Except it wouldn't have been evil if a notably lefty billionaire had used one of his companies to buy NatGeo, in which case that would have been great for journalism and everything else, la la la.

    Paying professional people to produce media for an audience is a business. If it can't survive without generous patronage, then it needs to die and be reborn as part of someone's foundation or other personal project, or simply die because it can't produce the value that everyone working there wants to take home every week. Buggy whip factories, etc.
    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Sure, in the long run everything's doomed.

      That doesn't mean that when things go away nothing of value was lost.

    • The employer doesn't pay the union, the employees do. Just, so you know next time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ScentCone ( 795499 )

        The employer doesn't pay the union, the employees do. Just, so you know next time.

        Do you really believe the things you say? Are you actually convinced that once a news operation's employees unionize that their new collective bargaining arrangement won't increase the payroll overhead for the employer? That's the whole POINT of unionizing - to get more out of the employment arrangement than the employer would otherwise be able or inclined to pay. The costs of unionizing are passed along to the employer (and to the employer's customers), by definition.

  • by karlandtanya ( 601084 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:30PM (#55494083)

    Heard an interview with one of the employees on the radio earlier this week.
    The way it was done was a deliberate slap in the face to the employees.

    There's some debate already whether Joe Ricketts violated labor laws.
    I've no doubt he can show internet journalism isn't profitable. And anyone paying attention in 2008 (when he got into it) knew that, too.
    The benefit Joe Ricketts gets from a "newspaper" is a place to shout from and a tax write off. It was never going to be profitable.

    It was done a week after writers unionized and the last message shouted from the "newspaper" was crystal fscking clear:
    You vote union? We vote scorched earth.

    Now. Anybody else who still has a job--do you want a union?

    • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:34PM (#55494107)

      Guy is running a newpaper that loses money. A change is put through that will make him lose considerably more money. So he decides it's not worth it. I am shocked.

    • by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:45PM (#55494153)

      There's some debate already whether Joe Ricketts violated labor laws.

      What labor law would that be? As you say, he can prove that the entire venture was loosing money. He closed it all down. You think that, just because the employees voted to unionize, the NLRB can force a company to remain open? It would be one thing if he fired all the employees and hired new ones. If he simply winds down the entire company, there isn't much a lawsuit is going to do.

      Now. Anybody else who still has a job--do you want a union?

      I've only had experience with a unionized position three times. All three times I was screwed over by nepotism, organizational politics and either lies or incompetence by the union reps. So no, no union for me thank you.

  • Joe Ricketts and others like him need to learn what it's like to eat out of a dumpster for a change.
  • by Noishkel ( 3464121 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @01:34PM (#55494101)

    Just a reminder that 'Freedom of the Press' just means that the government can't officially sensor your speech. It in no way gives you a right to have your voice heard. In practical terms it's not the 'right' for you to have to be give access to an actual printing press or by extension a news paper column, it's just that the government can't keep you from owning one without the due course of law.

    If you can't get people to listen to you enough then that's your problem, and complaining about it on Slashdot is more than useless. You might have a case for anti unionizing practices, but that's a different story all together.

    • Wonderful thing about the internet is that the barrier to entry costs next to nothing. I literally pay 10 dollars a year for my website, and if I so chose could have all sorts of journalism there for only the cost of paying the reporters. Gone are the days when freedom of the press required owning a printing press. Suck it up, snowflakes.
      • Gone are the days when freedom of the press required owning a printing press.

        Not only that but leveraging your reach can easily be much cheaper than with some local paper. I have quite a few websites that collectively get 10s of thousands of uniques a day and the hosting is less than $600 a month.

  • by jcr ( 53032 )

    Joe Ricketts carried those ungrateful, entitled fucks long enough. He has no moral obligation at all to keep paying them when they're not producing.

    -jcr

    • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

      " carried those ungrateful, entitled fucks long enough. It has no moral obligation at all to keep paying them when they're not producing."

      Fill in with any corporation that has outsourced or imported foreign labor. Remember that when you get outsourced or have to train your replacement.

    • by CrashNBrn ( 1143981 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @03:27PM (#55494601)

      You mean the whole 8 months that Joe Ricketts owned the Gothamist LLC? That has been around for 14 years? Yeah he carried them real far.
      From TFA:

      It was always a strange fit: When Ricketts purchased the 14-year-old Gothamist LLC in March, its flagship website Gothamist quickly decided to delete articles that were critical of its new owner. In recent weeks, the staff took steps to join a union, despite the owner's resistance to the idea. "As long as it’s my money that’s paying for everything," Ricketts wrote in an email to staff in spring, "I intend to be the one making the decisions about the direction of the business.”

      • by jcr ( 53032 )

        They were losing money, they showed no intention of changing that, so how long should he have continued paying them to waste his money?

        Get over yourself.

        -jcr

    • By long enough, you mean the what, 6 months, less I think, since he bought Gothamist? Which ran for a decade before that?
  • Though I guess it's hard to imagine that a left-wing news organization would be biased in favor of other left-wing journalists.

    Puh-lease!
  • When my dad went into the hospital we ended up throwing his unopened newspapers away. A free local paper and we didn't even bother taking them out the plastic sleeve. It's littered with ads, the content isn't relevant, and it's not how people get news anymore.

    Billionaire ownership of the media is a separate problem. The idea that money equals speech has unfortunately become deeply ingrained.

    • Keep some for making papier mache or firestarters... but yes, for the most part, conveniently the free paper usually is waiting for me on the curb next to my freshly emptied recycle bin. I recall being shocked one day when using the newspaper to cover the kitchen counter so the kids could paint when I saw a former high school classmate on the editorial page as an editor. How long had he been an editor there? How old was the newspaper I'd grabbed from the small stack in the garage kept for these purposes?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's often difficult to pivot with a business and failure to do so is why we are seeing businesses go under today. Local reporting doesn't have to die- but the business model local news papers have relied on may need to be replaced or otherwise adapted to make it work financially. I'm involved exclusively in reporting on local news in New Hampshire. I film important issues at the state house regularly, police abuse (which you'll NEVER see stock reporters doing, not on the street anyway), unconstitutional po

    • So how do you monetize your viral videos into something that is a comparable career to a reporter? Is it from youtube ads or do you need the big media to buy them off of you?
  • Local journalism is just too expensive. it probably always has been, but the subsidies it got from advertising reduced the price charged to readers to an acceptable level.

    But now that the advertising revenue has shriveled the public do not appear to be willing to pay to read about the local flower show, a traffic accident, what the Mayor did last week or who married whom. If you were involved in any local event, you probably already know about it. If you weren't you probably don't care - and aren't willin

  • If there's a demand.. something else will rise to fill it. If there's no actual demand, then it won't really be missed.

  • And it's a federal offense.

    This DOJ will be unlikely to do anything, but it times gone past...

    Sigh. It's the dark ages all over again

    Boy the way Glenn Miller played
    Songs that made the hit parade.
    Guys like us we had it made,
    Those were the days.

    And you knew who you were then,
    Girls were girls and men were men,
    Mister we could use a man
    Like Herbert Hoover again.

    Didn't need no welfare state,
    Everybody pulled his weight.
    Gee our old LaSalle ran great.
    Those were the days.

    Archie is laughing his ass off!

  • Worse, for a full 20 hours after the news broke, Gothamist.com and DNAinfo.com effectively didn't exist: Any link to the sites showed only Ricketts's statement about his decision, which claims the business was not profitable enough to support the journalism.

    "Effectively didn't exist"? You mean the archives were gone. Which is bad, I agree, but is that really worse than closing the business without even making an attempt to sell it?

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