The End of Rookie

This morning, Rookie founder and editor-in-chief Tavi Gevinson announced that the influential online magazine was closing its doors immediately after seven years of publication.

Her editor’s letter is essential reading, neatly laying out the shifting media landscape and personal thinking that led to the decision to shutter, and the hard choices facing every indie publication right now.

With a continued reliance on social platforms for all media consumption, and a continued decline in advertiser interest for smaller publications, there are only a handful of options for survival. Venture capital, angel investment, selling the company, media partnerships, donations, and subscription were all explored, but each have their own compromises.

So Rookie is no more.

This is the same set of circumstances that led to the closure of several beloved indie publications like The Awl, The Hairpin, and The Toast. There’s no great solution, and it seems like it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.

Some nice tributes to Rookie’s work and influence from The Cut and Jezebel, and thoughts on the closure from Jenny G. Zhang.

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