John Cook named temporary executive editor at Gawker

The International Business Times

John Cook will be temporarily taking over the position of executive editor at Gawker Media. The announcement comes after seven staffers left the company recently, including executive editor Tommy Craggs and editor-in-chief Max Read.

Cook is currently the investigations editor at the publication. The announcement came from a memo that Cook sent out this morning. It also notes that Leah Beckmann, the current deputy editor, will take over as the editor-in-chief until a permanent replacement is hired for Max Read. Hamilton Nolan, currently a senior writer at the publication, will take over Beckmann’s position.

Cook, in collaboration with Nick Denton and Heather Dietrick will set up a search committee for a new permanent executive editor in addition to identifying candidates for the position of editor-in-chief. Read more

Terry Bollea, Hulk Hogan,

Hogan’s lawyer accuses Gawker of leaking content of tapes

On Thursday, lawyers representing Gawker Media and Terry Bollea (the real name of Hulk Hogan) gathered in the Sixth Circuit court in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Image Credit: AP

Image Credit: AP

In a motion, the counsel representing Hulk Hogan accused Gawker of reportedly leaking tapes to the National Enquirer, which published an article reporting that racist slurs were part of the conversations on the tape.

“The Enquirer article is very close to the transcripts,” said Hogan’s lawyers.

“If National Enquirer quotes court documents that they could have obtained only from three sources, how did they get them?” questioned Hogan’s lawyers. They requested an electronic forensic investigation to explore if Gawker communicated with National Enquirer.

As reported earlier, the lawsuit centers on whether Gawker Media was legally justified in posting an edited video showing Hogan having sex with Heather Clem, the ex-wife of shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. Read more


Commentary: Gawker crosses line with story on magazine exec

The Gawker story about a top magazine official’s recent attempt to hire a porn star for $2,500 for a few hours of sex is a classic case of invasion of privacy with absolutely no redeeming social value.

From Gawker’s story, we see the executive being mature and even considerate of his would-be sexual partner. We see Gawker’s source reneging on the deal when his powerful customer refuses to help settle a landlord-tenant dispute. What we don’t see is any journalistic justification on Gawker’s part.

The best explanation we get from Gawker came from a Max Read tweet:

If that’s the justification, Gawker would have to know that the executive and his wife didn’t have an understanding that permits affairs. Read more


AFL-CIO chief asks Salon to voluntarily recognize workers’ union

America’s top labor leader is asking Salon to voluntarily recognize the Writers Guild of America, East as bargaining agent for its editorial workers.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote Salon Media Group CEO Cindy Jeffers on Thursday, requesting Salon voluntarily recognizes the union and not force a formal representation election.

Most of the staff has signed up with the union, which is the same one that won a recent representation election at Gawker Media. Gawker is now in the earliest stages of a process that will prompt negotiations over a first contract.

If the company does not voluntarily recognize the union, it would trigger a traditional representation election, such as the one held at Gawker Media. The vote would be supervised by either the National Labor Relations Board or perhaps a third party mediator agreed to by both sides. Read more


Talk of Philly newspaper strike, unionizing move at Gawker, big window onto media labor relations

Members of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia rally  outside the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News building in 2006. Union members  will vote Wednesday on whether to give leaders the right to call a walkout. (AP Photo/George Widman)

Members of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia rally outside the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News building in 2006. Union members will vote Wednesday on whether to give leaders the right to call a walkout. (AP Photo/George Widman)

Union members in Philadelphia will vote Wednesday evening on whether to give leaders the right to call a walkout and potentially trigger an American labor relations rarity: a big city newspaper strike.

In fact, you’re far more likely to ever see a lunar eclipse than a newspaper strike. We at least tend to get an eclipse or two every year. Guess when the last big newspaper strike was?

The contract between the Philadelphia Media Network and the Newspaper Guild expired May 23 but is extended to June 27 by mutual agreement. Read more


Former newsman earns his keep on fake news show

Cord Jefferson

Cord Jefferson. (Courtesy photo)

Last January, Cord Jefferson was offered what he calls an unexpected, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Jefferson, who was then West Coast editor at Gawker, got a cold-call from the show runner of “Survivor’s Remorse,” a comedy on Starz that chronicles the life of a fictional NBA pro named Cam Calloway. Would he be interested in writing for the show?

Jefferson wasn’t sure. The first season was only 12 weeks of work, and there was nothing guaranteed after that. Plus, he liked working at Gawker. It was consistent, the pay was good and he hadn’t been considering a move to television. But he called a friend — who has since become his manager — and decided the chance was too good to pass up. Read more


With publication of pool reports, Gawker loosens up the Beltway

In the old days, they were photocopied and placed in bins near the back of White House briefing room. As years went by, they began appearing in the inboxes of Washington journalists via email.

And on Tuesday, the distribution of White House pool reports was changed yet again when journalists at Gawker Media announced they had begun publishing the dispatches directly to the Web.

President Barack Obama waves to reporters at the conclusion of his news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais )

President Barack Obama waves to reporters at the conclusion of his news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais )

News of the change was greeted differently by various members of the White House press corps, who held a vigorous back-and-forth about whether the pool reports, which are largely not written for general consumption, should be made instantly available to the public at large. Read more


Mic news director fired for plagiarism

Gawker | Politico

Jared Keller, news director at Mic, has been fired from his position at the startup after a Gawker investigation unearthed “at least 20″ plagiarized passages from a variety of news organizations including The Associated Press, Reuters and Storyful.

Jake Horowitz, Mic’s editor-in-chief, provided Poynter with the following statement:

Jared Keller is no longer employed at Mic. Plagiarism is unacceptable in any form and our editorial policies make that very clear. We appreciate Gawker bringing these issues to our attention, and as we continue our internal review, we’ll be transparently updating any story that violates our standards.

Mic takes responsibility for allowing this to happen. We’re going to use this as an opportunity to improve as an organization, and we’re already soliciting candid feedback from our editorial staff about what we can be doing better.

Read more

What platishers, like Medium, mean for unknown writers

Early in November, Lauren Cusick, a former defense attorney, was listening to Serial. In one episode, a juror explained that a defendant’s choice not to testify contributed to a guilty verdict. In response, Cusick wrote a thoughtful, persuasive essay about a defendant’s invocation of Fifth Amendment rights and posted it on Medium.

Cusick, who now lives in Japan, has a personal blog, a Twitter account, and a Facebook page. She chose Medium, she said, because she had friends who used it to write about their areas of expertise and it seemed more professional than emotional outbursts on Facebook or Twitter’s noise. Plus, the barrier to entry was nil.

“I used their formatting tools, which were super easy,” she said. “It’s kind of nice to be able to able to use pull-quotes. Read more


Nick Denton wants Gawker Media to reach more conservatives

Jason Parham’s Kinja thing

Gawker Media honcho Nick Denton Thursday told an editor (and careful Gawker readers) that he knows the company’s audience leans left and wants its journalism to reach more conservatives:

Let’s welcome, if not out-and-out racists, then at least the wide array of people with whom a conversation is possible: national greatness conservatives, Burkean Tories and business pragmatists, for instance; Christians and other spiritual people; economic liberals, libertarians and techno-utopians; and black and other social conservatives.

Denton was responding to a note from Gawker’s Jason Parham, who publicly urged Denton and the upper echelons of Gawker Media to embrace diversity “throughout all departments of the company.” In the note, Parham encouraged Gawker Media bosses to “engage the interest around progressive voices” and hire more Latina, queer and black writers. Read more

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