On Wednesday, online news site The Messenger shut down abruptly. The site, which expired after less than a year of operation, represents one of the biggest failures in online journalism after launching with over $50 million in funding.
Messenger staff members were reportedly given no warning and only learned about the closing from reading the news at other sites. Staff were unable to retrieve personal items from offices and could no longer log into their company accounts. They were reportedly given no severance pay, and their health insurance was cut off immediately.
Worst of all, The Messenger owners deleted the site’s content. For the writers and staff of the news site, that means all their work from the past year was turned to digital dust in an instant. The Messenger’s former staff is left unable to retrieve the stories that could be vital to finding their next job. Sites that referenced The Messenger are now left with links that go nowhere. The information contained in all the site’s articles, op-eds, and photographs is now simply gone.
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