January 12, 2015

Gawker

Gawker’s Jason Parham wrote about the need for more diversity at Gawker on Monday. In the post, Parham published an internal email, which he sent in December, about why Gawker needs to add more diversity.

So, here’s the thing: For Gawker Media to compete, evolve, and grow, our commitment to create a self-operating ecosystem must involve a commitment to diversity throughout all departments of the company, but especially in edit. It is an ambitious and important endeavor — and will no doubt be essential to our survival as a leading independent media entity — so it is crucial we understand growth in terms of racial, sexual, and gender diversity.

To forge ahead, Gawker Media must commit to publishing and hiring more Latina voices, queer voices, black voices, and marginalized voices across its core sites. This mission — along with Kinja and enhancing the overall user experience — is equally important to our development as a company. It is, as Nick put it, maybe the only way to “host the most lively and informative conversation on the web.”

Parham points out BuzzFeed’s Shani Hilton and that organization’s efforts at adding new voices, which will help BuzzFeed stay relevant “beyond the lists and quizzes.”

Our current efforts have been tremendous — my intention here is not to discredit the progress we have made this year — but we must continue to ACTIVELY seek out brave voices to hire and publish. To use Nick’s words: This is the only way Gawker Media truly becomes the very best version of itself.

Though Gawker Media has grown immensely during the last decade, it remains a product of early web publishing in many regards: a world largely accessible to, and engaged by, white men. But what we once were, and who we are presently, is not who we have to be moving forward.

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Kristen Hare covers the people and business of local news and is the editor of Locally at Poynter. She previously worked as a staff writer…
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