WAMU Reboots DCist

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Courtesy WAMU.

“Hello, World!”

Reminiscent of how WordPress encourages new bloggers to make themselves known, that’s the headline for a story posted today, June 11, on DCist. The hyperlocal news site, which was shut down last November, is up and running again, now under the wing of National Public Radio station WAMU.

In the story, returning Editor-in-Chief Rachel Sadon — formerly local news editor for the Washington Post’s Express — writes that DCist will cover more local news than ever before, but will forego national political coverage.

Billing itself as “the homepage of the District,” the rebooted DCist is serving up such offerings as a curated selection of DC Jazz Fest performers, a preview of the Kennedy Center’s expansion and a look at an undeveloped piece of land on Capitol Hill.

Not only is DCist up and running, with offices in Van Ness, but sister sites Gothamist (New York) and LAist (Los Angeles) were also saved as part of a joint acquisition by WAMU, WNYC and KPCC, based in Pasadena, California. To supplement this backing, a Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise additional funds.

DCist, which began operating in 2004, was one of a group of, eventually, eight city-focused sites. On Nov. 2, 2017, billionaire owner Joe Ricketts shut down the parent company, Gothamist, shortly after its New York newsroom employees voted to unionize.

The three NPR stations acquired DCist, Gothamist and LAist in February. At that time, Andi McDaniel, WAMU’s senior director of content and news, said: “The addition of the DCist platform helps us bring the quality journalism we’ve been producing for decades to the neighborhood level.”

A “DCist Is Back, Baby!” party will take place this Thursday, June 14, from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at Blind Whino, 700 Delaware Ave. SW, featuring DJ Beauty and the Beatz, drinks, food trucks, games and custom screenprinted posters from Soul & Ink. Admission is $20. For details, visit eventbrite.com.

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