Articles about "Gawker"

Joel Johnson named Gawker Media’s editorial director

Joel Johnson, who founded Consumerist and has edited Gawker Media properties Gizmodo and Kotaku, will be Gawker Media’s editorial director. Gawker Media honcho Nick Denton told staffers the news in the office Wednesday. Denton sent a quick memo:

A quick bulletin for those out of the office. Joel Johnson — former editor of Gizmodo and Kotaku — is coming back to the editorial department. He’ll be the editorial director, the position that has been unfilled since Lockhart Steele and Noah Robischon. Joel starts in the new year. More details to come!

Tweeted Gawker Editor John Cook:

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Readers will ‘eventually choose the juicy truth over a heartwarming hoax,’ says Nick Denton

In an email to staffers Tuesday, Gawker Media honcho Nick Denton said it was “bad news” that BuzzFeed beat Gawker in traffic in November. Upworthy, which he describes as “even smarmier than Buzzfeed,” is “nipping at our heels,” Denton writes.

But Gawker sites had 106 million unique visitors last month, he writes, and its Kinja platform will likely even the race. While Gawker is “not completely averse to crowd-pleasing,” Denton writes, Deadspin’s Manti Teo story shows “the crowd will eventually choose the juicy truth over a heartwarming hoax.”

Full memo: … Read more

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A viral stamp (Depositphotos)

Is viral content the next bubble?

The Wire | PandoDaily | The Wall Street Journal

The website Viral Nova emulates sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy, and was in October “already nearly half the size of the sites that inspired it,” Alex Litel writes. Its success suggests specializing in viral content “can be reverse engineered fairly quickly by anyone with a careful eye for emulation — which is to say everyone on the Internet.”

Viral Nova publishes articles with headlines like “This Puppy Taught Me More In 1 Minute Than Anyone Else Has Done In A Lifetime” and “Yes, This Is A Boy Chained Up Like A Dog. And The Reason Why Is Even More Heartbreaking.”… Read more


Gawker’s Scocca, Toronto Star’s Cruickshank talk on air

On the Media | Gawker

Gawker features editor Tom Scocca and Toronto Star Publisher John Cruickshank appeared on WNYC’s
“On The Media” to talk about the Rob Ford story and a heated e-mail back and forth between the two, which Gawker published Nov. 4.

“In retrospect, we shouldn’t have put ‘Star Exclusive’ [on the Star's report about the video, which followed Gawker's] and I apologize for that,” Cruickshank said on air, adding that Gawker breaking the Rob Ford story was “incredibly helpful.”

Cruickshank later wrote a column extolling what Scocca called “the Star’s lone heroism,” which also rankled its competitors to the south. The only development in the Ford story between Gawker’s May 16 story and the Star’s the next day was that Gawker decided to publish, Scocca said.… Read more

Rob Ford

How the Toronto Star is telling the Rob Ford story

Just before 10:30 on Thursday morning, staff at the Toronto Star gathered around a large screen in the center of the newsroom and watched the story they’d told since May get told again. This time, though, it was Toronto Chief of Police Bill Blair doing the telling.

Police had recovered video files of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking a crack pipe.

“The video files depict images that are consistent with what has previously been reported,” Blair said.

Kevin Donovan, the head of the Star’s investigative team, and reporter Robyn Doolittle saw the cell phone video themselves back in May. They and many others at the Star have reported about it since, chiseling away around the edges of something they’d seen but didn’t physically have.

Ford repeatedly said there was no video.… Read more


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


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. … Read more


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.… Read more


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.… Read more


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.… Read more