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Gawker Media executive editor Tommy Craggs tells his staff: “I will leave it to you and your scruples to determine if publishing a Super Bowl commercialsuper on your website is worth the coarsening of your soul and of the culture at large (sometimes it is​!). But, really, please refrain.”

From: Tommy Craggs
Date: Tue, Jan 27, 2015 at 12:23 PM
Subject: Super Bowl commercials
To: edit

Memo from the Ministry of Agitation, Propaganda, and Ideological Purity:

This week, there will be a number of “leaked” Super Bowl commercials floating around the internet. Some of them will be entertaining. Many of them will bring a great deal of traffic to any website that posts them. A few of them will be hoaxes, or at the very least hoaxish. I’ve expressed my feelings on the matter in many different forums and over many varieties of alcohol, and I will leave it to you and your scruples to determine if publishing a Super Bowl commercial on your website is worth the coarsening of your soul and of the culture at large (sometimes it is​!). But, really, please refrain.

Onward.




Gawker editor-in-chief Max Read on Tom Scocca’s Bill Cosby post from February: “[It] is good proof that by fulfilling our institutional obligation to ‘always go there, to never flinch, to never look away,’ we can force other organizations to look, too.”

From: Max Read
Date: Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 7:32 AM
Subject: honesty & fearlessness
To: Gawker Writers

In 2008, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote about Bill Cosby in an Atlantic story, but (in his words), “declin[ed] to seriously reckon with the rape allegations against him[.]” Yesterday he reflected on that failure: tom

“I don’t have many writing regrets. But this is one of them. I regret not saying what I thought of the accusations, and then pursuing those thoughts. I regret it because the lack of pursuit puts me in league with people who either looked away, or did not look hard enough. I take it as a personal admonition to always go there, to never flinch, to never look away.”

Guess where he links out to at “to never flinch”: Tom’s unflinching post from earlier this year, “​Who Wants to Remember Bill Cosby’s Multiple Sex-Assault Accusations?” (On Twitter, TNC calls Tom “the inspiration.”)

Scocca’s piece was the catalyst for the year of dismantling the Cosby myth. The comedian’s career is over, and it’s thanks to Tom and the accusers whose voices he amplified and carved a space for. And Tom was able to do so because Gawker, at its best, is place that doesn’t “flinch” or “look away.” There are not many other organizations like this, and we should all ensure that we don’t leave Gawker (far in the future, with any luck) with regrets of omission — stories we should have run but were too scared to.

Ultimately we didn’t — and don’t — have the CNN or ET-level resources necessary to find more accusers (or Janice Dickinson), or even to follow up Tom’s story with the reporting it deserved. We’ll get there soon. Till then, Tom’s piece is good proof that by fulfilling our institutional obligation to “always go there, to never flinch, to never look away,” we can force other organizations to look, too. You don’t need television (or VC) money to drive the conversation. Just a willingness to be honest and fearless.

Max Read
Editor-in-chief, Gawker.com

* The undoing of Bill Cosby (gawker.com)
* Who wants to remember Bill Cosby’s multiple assault accusations? (gawker.com)




A memo to Gawker Media staffers:

From: Nick Denton
To: All Staff
Sent: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 11:12 AM
Subject: Just shy of 100m

https://twitter.com/nicknotned/status/385058249273540608

nickn

And that’s before the Kinja effect has really made itself felt. September’s surge was mainly down to kick-ass editorial, especially the speedy and skillful repackaging of Casey Chan at Gizmodo and Neetzan at Gawker.

(NB. Another reason these numbers might seem high: Quantcast has changed its methodology to include more iPhone usage and count uniques rather than unduplicated people. And I’m quoting global numbers rather than the US audience that drives most of our revenue.)

Retweet if you feel so moved!

Nick

For Gawker.com alone, “we booked 15,293,984 U.S. uniques in September, making it the best month in the history of Gawker, beating our No. 2 month of July ’13, when we did 12.2 million,” editor John Cook tells his colleagues. Gawker Media’s Gizmodo, I’m told, went from 8.5 million uniques in August to 16.4 million in September.




Gawker Media staffers got this memo from the boss today:

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Nick Denton
To: Edit
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 12:23 PM
Subject: Next Kinja release

…goes live on Valleywag this afternoon. There’s a presentation to press, ad trades and advertisers at Crosby St Hotel at 4.30, to which site leads and deputies are invited. (Tell XXXXX@gawker.com to get your name on the list.) General staff party at 8pm across the road at my apartment.

Here’s the essence of the new release. You’ve seen how one blog can reblog and reframe another’s story. Now that action also shapes the discussion that is presented.

For instance, here’s Adrian Chen’s story on abuse allegations against Michael Arrington with the new discussion interface.

http://gawker.com/5993171/techcrunch-founders-ex+girlfriend-claims-he-physically-abused-her@?fullwidthreplies

http://gawker.com/5993171/techcrunch-founders-ex+girlfriend-claims-he-physically-abused-her@nick?fullwidthreplies

The first link shows article as it would appear on Gawker with all comments showing. (They are full-width, displayed chronologically.) Many of them focus more on the appearance of Arrington and his ex-girlfriend.

But the second link is my version of the same story, the page that you’d see if you followed a link on nick.kinja.com, my personal blog. I’m curating articles from Gawker and other sites — but also the discussions. The second link shows a filtered version of the discussion, focusing on me, Adrian Chen and other Gawker staff, journalists with other outlets like Owen Thomas — and Jenn Allen herself.

Take a look. You can see that is a version of the discussion that is aimed at my readership, eminently shareable by me. It has the potential to move the story forward. Click on any comment in order to drill down or explore.

We’ll do an all-hands meeting to go through the implications of the new system. It will change the way that we and others do journalism. But in the meantime, you can read Nick Bilton’s take in the New York Times.




How did Gawker boss Nick Denton react A. J. Daulerio posting the infamous Brian Williams email? Daulerio tells me: “We had a brief spat in the office. He told me I was being a dick. I said he was being a dick. But I think we like each other again. There are more important things to worry about.”

* Wemple on the email flap




NBC News to Gawker: “Can you please have the post of Brian Williams’ email to Nick Denton taken down immediately? That was sent in confidence as friends and absolutely never intended to be public. A speedy removal would go a long way in maintaining the trust and respect we have for your site.”

Part of that Williams email: “….it was a fallow holiday period for those of us who check your shit 10 times a day by iphone.”

* Read what they’re saying about this on Twitter

AJ Daulerio has been promoted to Gawker editor-in-chief, and Tommy Craggs is succeeding him at Deadspin. Here’s the memo announcing the promotions:

From: Nick Denton
To: [Gawker editorial staff]
Sent: Monday, November 28, 2011 9:05 AM
Subject: Reshuffle at Gawker and Deadspin

We’re making a change at Gawker. Remy Stern is stepping down as editor in chief. His replacement is Deadspin’s AJ Daulerio. Tommy Craggs — currently AJ’s deputy — is taking over at the Gawker sports site.

Remy will be consulting on new editorial initiatives — including a model for biographical and product pages on both Gawker and other sites in the group.

You’re probably wondering: “What the hell?” It’s not as if Gawker in crisis. Since Remy took over some two years ago, the site’s US audience has grown from 3m a month to nearly 5m.

The flagship Gawker Media site has broken stories such as Christine O’Donnell’s Halloween adventure, brought down a Congressman and got under the skin of Fox News with exposes of exurban bullying by both Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. The site is more professional than it’s ever been in both set-piece exclusives and visuals.

But we need to release the full potential of the site’s excellent roster of writers — and fill out the team with new hires. AJ has proven himself as both developer and recruiter of editorial talent. That’s what the site needs right now. Hence the switch.

I’m around this week if you want further explanation of the reshuffle. Whether you’re at Gawker, Deadspin or one of the other sites, email me or just walk over and grab me for a coffee.

Regards

Nick

New York Observer reports Daulerio “had been lining up opportunities outside Gawker media” before today’s promotion.