How The Dismantling Of DNA Info And Chicagoist Hurt Us All

How The Dismantling Of DNA Info And Chicagoist Hurt Us All

I have a friend who doesn't like DNAinfo, because she feels like all the articles really are subtly aimed at gentrifying neighborhoods and are yes men for developers and the like. She has always encouraged people to always look for an alternate source to a story.

I really respect her opinion, so I did my best to pay much closer attention to the articles and what they were saying -- often times, I could not find another source (at least that was linked), and that DID seem dubious to me.

However, there were times I felt like they had hyperlocal news that was welcomed by me -- and as this all goes down, there are plenty of POC in my community groups on FB who feel the same way. I think it's been good to be more aware of these things either way. To challenge my thinking and see where my privilege blinds me.

-----

Re: Chicagoist -- I blogged there from 2007-2009. The site was a little more Gawkerish at the time -- writing and covering Chicago, but often with a tongue-in-cheek headline or articles that had factual information in them, but often had an op-ed slant.

Just as I was ending my time at Chicagoist, they started to get more serious -- they were cutting a lot of the slant and aiming to be more news-y. They were also in the process of transitioning to some paid positions instead of all volunteer work.

I have fond memories of my time/s there and wouldn't change that a bit.

-----

However, any way you slice it, THIS IS A FUCKING HIT JOB. The employees of the two publications just voted to unionize a little over a week ago. This is just a way to shut that down -- not about the sites being financially unsustainable. If it WERE, they would have told their employees it was happening and given them a chance to retrieve their work for a future job search. They might have left the websites up as an archive for the rest of us, as well (that being less practical than the first).

The Republican government has weakened and dismantled the unions in the United States in any way they can. I know that many people have a negative view of unions, because they view them as a place where bad workers become untouchable. But I will NOT minimize or forgive a union buster.

I won't pretend there's no corruption in Unionland, but I find it extremely cagey that America is fine with their sports figures and actors being in a union, but begrudge teachers, tradespeople, and other hardworking, working class jobs.

Let's get this straight -- the weekend that you enjoy, the protections against unsafe working conditions, the laws around working too many days in a row or too many hours without overtime? -- those are courtesy of people who stood up (and sometimes died) for those rights and the right to work in a humane way.

-----

I watched my father be a proud union member his whole life. That plays no small part in my standing with and supporting unions. He was a hard worker who always put in his time, was rigorously honest (he informed them about a mess up on his check once that was in his favor), and who did his job with pride and skill.

I guess it's actually the Ricketts sons that own the Cubs. And I always kind of knew they were in active opposition to my political beliefs. But I admit to being willingly ignorant because I just wanted to love my baseball team. I'm glad I got a World Series, because I am pretty sure I need to walk away now. (And I still might blow that, because I'm a flawed human who does her best to have principles, but who fails sometimes.) It's been relatively easy for me to not ever go to BP, to almost never set foot in a Walmart, to use a local bank instead of Chase. However, this one is going to really put the rubber to the road and make me really look at how I live my ideals.

Wanna stay up to date with the latest missives from my unquiet mind? Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. You will NEVER get anything else from me (no SPAM, and you can opt out at any time).

Leave a comment