Today, the plug was abruptly pulled from both Chicagoist and DNAinfo Chicago. There was no warning, just an immediate takedown of everything on both sites. Amazing writers, editors and photographers, ones I am very proud to call friends and colleagues, lost their jobs without so much as a minute’s notice, let alone several weeks. Everyone who ever worked for these sites in Chicago, as well as the ‘Istaverse’s sites in other cities including LA and New York, suddenly had no access to the work that they had done there, as archives were pulled at the same time. (We’ve since heard that the archives may be restored on the sites, but there is no official word yet.)
This includes me. I got my start at Chicagoist. I learned everything from the amazing, friendly and talented staff. Things changed throughout the years, but the people I met there are and were professional, skilled, passionate people who just wanted to write about the city they live in and love so very much. I have lost so little compared to the folks who were still putting their lifeblood into it each and every day, under increasing pressure and with less staff. The people at Chicagoist were my mentors, friends and colleagues, and nobody there deserved to find out that in the space of an hour, their work and their security had vanished into the ether.
This week, we wrote about being upstanders, not bystanders in the face of injustice, and this calls for that.
To the writers, editors, photographers and everyone else at Chicagoist, Gothamist at large, and DNAinfo:
We stand with you. Third Coast Review editors and writers support the talented writers from Chicagoist and DNAInfo and condemn the attempted silencing of so many diverse voices. We support unions and free speech and are committed to maintaining our platform for democratic discourse.
We also want to provide a space where displaced writers and staff at Chicagoist and DNAinfo can comment on this situation, in their own words. If you’d like to do so, please contact me or any of the editors on our About page or add a comment to this post.
A statement from our editor and publisher, Nancy Bishop: Third Coast Review welcomes all writers who’d like to join up with us as we continue to build and grow our site. We started up in January 2016 on the foundation of the late great Gapers Block and we applaud Andrew Huff for pledging to always keep Gapers Block content online forever.
If you’d like to write for us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact link on our site. This article was written by Marielle Shaw, Karin McKie and Nancy Bishop with the support of our Third Coast staff.