On December 1, The Washington Independent will be no more. After almost three years, the site is closing, a victim of the “recession, just like everybody else,” says editor Aaron Weiner. All four editorial staffers are now on the market.
We won awards for our reporting and recognition for our pioneering efforts. We sent reporters to Alaska, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. We graced numerous TV shows and were cited by every leading newspaper in the country. Most important, our reporting made a difference, whether by bringing flawed legislation and programs to the attention of people in power or by bringing critical overlooked issues to the attention of a broader public.
But TWI was not just a journalistic experiment; it was also a financial one, and ultimately, the successes of the former couldn’t sustain the strains of the latter.
Since January 2008, TWI was home to Spencer Ackerman, Dave Weigel, Mike Lillis, Annie Lowrey, and more reporters who went on to become boldfaced names at other publications. The current team of Elise Foley, Andrew Restuccia, and Jesse Zwick will surely do the same.