ChicagoNow is now Chicago history
👋 Hi, it's Justin! Late last week, the Chicago Tribune-run blog network, ChicagoNow, quietly shut down.
- The bloggers were not told beforehand, and the Trib decided not to save their archived material.
Former ChicagoNow manager Jimmy Greenfield wrote that the move "was done in a cowardly and horribly unprofessional way."
Flashback: When ChicagoNow launched in 2009, it was considered the future of digital journalism. Unpaid writers penned daily posts on everything from crime and fashion to local history.
- Over time, the blog network lost out to other online channels.
Between the lines: ChicagoNow should be remembered for its role in a local digital news revolution that included other innovative ventures, including:
- Gapers Block: Started in 2003 with bite-size news links and a robust calendar, the independent site shut down in 2016. But you can still read its archives.
- Chicagoist: Featured great local coverage until Joe Ricketts shut down that national network in 2017. Chance the Rapper bought it four years ago with plans to relaunch but for now, it's still just archives.
- Vocalo Blogs: Launched in 2009, the WBEZ-owned blog network featured reporters like Rob Feder, Jim DeRogatis, Lee Bey and Amy Krouse Rosenthal. After it was shut down in 2012, the archives were not saved.
- Full disclosure: I ran that site.
The bottom line: I'd argue if it weren't for enterprises like ChicagoNow or the Vocalo Blogs, there wouldn't be newsletters like the one you're reading.
More Chicago stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Chicago.