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Key links:
Primary website:
dnainfo.com
Primary Twitter:
@dnainfo

DNAinfo (short for Digital Network Associates) is an online local news organization covering Manhattan and Chicago.

The site was founded in November 2009 by Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, who also provides its funding. The original New York site had an editorial staff of about 45 in March 2013 and it includes both neighborhood-level sites and broader coverage. It has hired a number of high-profile reporters, including contributing editor Sree Sreenivasan, dean of student affairs at Columbia Journalism School, and Murray Weiss, a long-time investigative reporter for the New York Post.

The site has grown considerably since launch: While estimates pegged site traffic at less than 35,000 visitors in April 2010, it averaged 1.5 million uniques in February 2011. It also has developed a sales and marketing staff of about 10 people to monetize that growth, as Ricketts intends the site to be profitable. It launched a Chicago edition in November 2012, with a staff of about 30 in March 2013.

Both sites include features, breaking news, public affairs reporting, and community news, though there is little in-depth investigative reporting or reporting on large businesses.

Ricketts, a political conservative, launched a political action committee in 2012 through which he reportedly planned to target President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. But he said in a memo to DNAinfo staff that his politics should have “absolutely no impact on your work as objective, fair-minded journalists.”

Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Aug. 7, 2014 / Joseph Lichterman
Turning a profit in the Netherlands: How a Dutch hyperlocal network has grown — While lots of U.S. media companies are still struggling to figure out how to make hyperlocal news financially viable, in the Netherlands, a four-year-old network of hyperlocal sites began turning a profit earlier this ye...
June 11, 2014 / Justin Ellis
Q&A: Penelope Muse Abernathy on how community newspapers can face the digital transition — When we talk about disruption in the journalism business, the conversation often centers on the big players. It’s easy to focus on a place like The New York Times because its plans for carving out a future in journ...
March 12, 2014 / Caroline O'Donovan
Like a phoenix from the ashes: How some local reporters are sticking it out post-Patch — Wealthy, suburban, outer-metro areas have always been financial strongholds for local journalism. That’s why, back in 2009 when Patch launched, they seeded the network with sites in the New York suburbs of Connecti...
Feb. 27, 2014 / Joseph Lichterman
Cut loose by UC Berkeley, hyperlocal site Mission Local looks to spin off as a for-profit — Five years ago, in the worst days of the economic collapse, Len Downie and Michael Schudson wrote their benchmark report “The Reconstruction of American Journalism,” attempting to chart a course forward for a...
Dec. 20, 2013 / Mark Coddington
This Week in Review: A judge deals the NSA a blow, and breaking down Patch’s fatal flaws — A legal blow to NSA spying: After months of criticism and protests, the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance program received a more formal blow this week with a ruling by a federal judge that the program a...

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Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: April 4, 2013.
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