Max Schorr isn’t interested in engaging in what he calls “he said/she said back and forth” with the former staffers of GOOD, the magazine he cofounded that laid off most of its editorial staff last Friday. Over email, Schorr politely expresses great respect toward the employees who’ve left and a vague sense of what’s next for GOOD: “At the end of the day, we just want to create solutions that work for the world and live up to our organization’s potential through the work we create vs. anything we could share here in type,” Schorr writes.
A job ad apparently posted by the company on Craigslist Tuesday casts not a great deal more light on GOOD’s plans: It’s a position at something called GOOD Maker, “an online platform that crowdsources ideas and actions on critical social issues.” GOOD Maker will allow organizations to “create ‘challenges’ that ask the broader community to submit ideas or take actions that engage them in the challenge creator’s mission. Through these challenges, we tap into the GOOD community’s energy and creativity and give people new ways to make good happen.”
At least we know what some of the employees are going to be doing: On Tuesday Alexander Abad-Santos broke the news in The Atlantic Wire that some of the former staffers will put together a probably one-off magazine called Tomorrow, something former Managing Editor Megan Greenwell confirmed to Poynter Tuesday afternoon and the Tomorrowers announced to the world in a Tumblr post that evening.
Still, the story of what brought GOOD’s journalistic operation to such a strange end hasn’t been told in detail. The following is pieced together from multiple interviews with staffers who left. Like Schorr, cofounder Casey Caplowe declined to comment on the staff accounts here, but he did frame the layoffs as a tough call that’ll leave the company stronger: “Our mission is to maximize good in the world, and to that end, we are evolving our platform in a way that will allow the whole GOOD community to engage more deeply—to learn and do things that make ourselves and our world better,” he wrote in an email to me. Ben Goldhirsh, the third cofounder, didn’t reply to any emails or phone calls. Read more