Articles about "Gawker"


In an interview with Toronto’s Globe and Mail, Gawker Editor John Cook talked about the purported Rob Ford crack tape, which his publication tried to purchase via crowdfunding. Unable to buy the tape, the site split the money between four Canadian charities. “What do you think of media ethics?” Simon Houpt asked Cook.

I think of media ethics the same way I think of plumber ethics: I think that, as a human being, I’m bound by certain ethical precepts I try to live my life by, but I do not think as a profession that reporters and editors need to think of themselves as bound by an additional, secondary set of ethical restrictions – the way that, say, lawyers or doctors think of themselves as bound by an additional set of conditions. I think it’s more instructive to think of reporters the way people think of tradesman and women. I think it’s a trade rather than a profession – it’s certainly starting to pay more like a trade than a profession. And I think the idea of building up a superstructure of journalism ethics is part of a process of trying to exclude the hoi polloi from the process of reporting and commenting on the news.

Simon Houpt, The Globe and Mail

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Why Gawker contributor posted photo of Trayvon Martin’s body

Gawker | Bad Journalist.
Adam Weinstein writes on Gawker that his motivation for posting a photo of Trayvon Martin's dead body (which you will see if you click that link) was "Good old-fashioned rage." A tipster sent him the image last night, which Weinstein said he didn't see on TV. His source told him it ran on MSNBC for a "second or two," Weinstein wrote in an email to Poynter, after people in the court considering charges against George Zimmerman saw it. (more...)
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Michael Arrington responds to rape, abuse accusations

TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington's attorney Eric M. George sent a letter to the entrepreneur Jennifer Allen yesterday, Arrington wrote on his blog. The letter says Allen has "posted statements about Michael that are false and defamatory, and that have caused significant harm to his good name."

On March 29, Allen posted a claim on Facebook saying that Arrington had physically abused her. She then commented on a Gawker story about her post, saying Arrington raped her and another woman she knows as well.

Gawker reporter Adrian Chen followed that post on April 3 with a post that quotes various Arrington acquaintances opining about the allegations. (more...)
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Gawker publishes George W. Bush’s email address

Gawker | Twitter
Gawker Editor John Cook noticed the 43rd president's email address on screengrabs published by a hacker named Guccifer, who previously messed up Colin Powell's Facebook page and who plucked Bush's shower self-portrait from emails she or he has hacked. He suggested readers use the address to "Wish George W. Bush a Happy Iraq War Day."

A commenter named Janet Margrave was outraged by the breach: "To unleash people on him via a private email address, is wrong," Margrave wrote. "Maybe the Secret Service will come tapping at your door."

Another Iraq War figure stirred up commenters Tuesday: Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tweeted a commemoration of "the long, difficult work of liberating 25 mil Iraqis" that began a decade ago. Tweets replying to this sentiment go on for a while. (more...)
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NYT reporters sued for gun owners’ addresses

Capital | Rockland County Times
Jo Craven McGinty and two other New York Times reporters sued for New York gun owners' addresses in 2010, Dana Rubinstein reports. The New York City Police Department gave her gun owners' names, as it did to Gawker reporter John Cook, but the NYPD argued giving McGinty owners' addresses would expose them to fundraising appeals or other solicitations, an exception to public records' release in New York's open government law (see section 89).

In a phone call with Poynter last week, Robert Freeman, the executive director of New York state's Committee on Open Government, said that legally, courts tend to favor specific laws rather than general ones, and New York's law is very specific: "The name and address of any person to whom an application for any license has been granted shall be a public record" reads New York Penal Law, section 400.00.

The judge in the Times case allowed the release of data, with some redactions, a ruling the NYPD appealed, Rubinstein reports. The case is still under appeal. A Times source told Rubinstein the paper "rarely, if ever, publishes raw data, and it had no intention of publishing the addresses of the permit holders," she writes. (more...)
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Gawker releases list of gun owners in New York City

Gawker
Gawker has just published a list of gun owners in New York City. Reporter John Cook says he got the names of licensed gun owners in the five boroughs via a Freedom of Information Law request two-and-a-half years ago. The New York Police Department did not give up gun owners' addresses, Cook writes, despite state law saying those are public records, too.

But those addresses "have been freely available online for more than two years," Cook writes. "Two databases listing all of the handgun owners were initially posted online anonymously at a web site called Who's Packing NY in August of 2010. That web site is no longer working, but a mirror—complete with the two full databases available for download—is still working here." (more...)
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What you need to know about the Gawker-Reddit war

• Gawker's Adrian Chen revealed one of Reddit's biggest "trolls" is Michael Brutsch, a 49-year-old computer programmer who lives in Texas. Brutsch posted under the name "Violentacrez" and cultivated a bizarre symbiotic relationship with Reddit's management, Chen wrote. At the same time he moderated subsections of the giant Internet community with names like "Jewmerica" and "Misogyny," he "came to an uneasy truce" with site administrators:

For all his unpleasantness, they realized that Violentacrez was an excellent community moderator and could be counted on to keep the administrators abreast of any illegal content he came across.


• Moderators of various "subreddits," including the site's popular politics page, banned all Gawker media links before Chen's article was published to protest Brutsch's imminent unmasking. Some pointed out the irony of Redditors objecting to the personal information of a man who moderated subsections dedicated to surreptitiously taken photos of women; Reddit GM Erik Martin told Betabeat: “Moderators are free to moderate their subreddits as they see fit ... They can ban all usernames that start with the letter g if they want.” (more...)
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Reddit politics site bans Gawker links

New Statesman | Betabeat | The Awl
Moderators on Reddit's highly trafficked politics site r/politics have banned links from Gawker Media properties. Gawker journalist Adrian Chen is reportedly planning to expose the identity of a Reddit moderator named violentacrez who organized Reddit pages "dedicated to, respectively, sexualised pictures of under-18s and sexualised pictures of women – frequently also under-age – taken in public without their knowledge or consent," Alex Hern writes.

"Reddit's attitude to free speech is a complex one," Hern writes: (more...)
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Variety will lose paywall; staffers rejoice

Los Angeles Times | AdAge | Forbes
Variety staffers applauded when new owner Jay Penske told them he'll begin dismantling the publication's paywall, Ben Fritz reports:
Many Variety reporters and editors have been frustrated that their content is less read online than that of competitors such as the Hollywood Reporter and Penske-owned Deadline, in part because it is only available to paying subscribers.
Variety will keep its print edition, Penske reportedly told staffers, though people at the meeting told Fritz it's "likely Daily Variety will not continue publishing Monday through Friday for too long, as most Hollywood professionals now read breaking news online." (more...)
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Gawker plans a business model based on comments and conversation, not posts and ads

Reuters | GigaOM
Nick Denton is betting that comments will be a big new business for the future of Gawker Media. Felix Salmon explains how Gawker is reinventing comments and plans to sell advertisers the ability to create conversations. In an earlier memo, Denton wrote, "the days of the banner advertisement are numbered. In two years, our primary offering to marketers will be our discussion platform."

Will it work? Salmon points out the biggest potential flaw: "The problem here, for Denton — and the reason why he got an editorial guy to run this new project — is the old one: how to persuade his websites’ readers to read the sponsored posts and to engage in their comments sections."

Earlier: Denton's new advertising system may foreshadow a post-blogger future (Poynter) || Related: The problem with Facebook’s ad model (Technology Review) | Why GM and others fail with Facebook ads (Business Week).
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