||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: article lacks focus, proper formatting, and seems to include a number of biased sources and sub-articles. (January 2013)|
|Type of site||Blog|
|Alexa rank||565 (December 2013[update])|
- 1 History
- 2 Content
- 3 2012 editorial change
- 4 References
Gawker was originally edited by Elizabeth Spiers, then by Choire Sicha, from August 2003 to August 2004. When Sicha became editorial director of Gawker Media in August 2004, Jessica Coen was hired to be the site editor. The editor position was split between two co-editors in 2005, and Coen was joined by guest editors from a variety of New York City-based blogs; Matt Haber was engaged as co-editor for several months, then Jesse Oxfeld joined for longer. In July 2006, Oxfeld's contract was not renewed, and Alex Balk was installed, while Chris Mohney, formerly of Gridskipper, Gawker Media's travel blog, was hired to become the managing editor, a newly created position.
On September 28, 2006, Coen announced in a post on Gawker that she would be leaving the site to become deputy online editor at Vanity Fair. Balk then shared the site with co-editor Emily Gould. Associate editor Maggie Shnayerson also began writing for the site; she replaced Doree Shafrir, who left in September 2007 for the New York Observer.
In February 2007, Sicha returned from his position at the New York Observer, and replaced Mohney as the Managing Editor.
On September 21, 2007, Gawker announced that Balk would depart to edit Radar magazine's website, he would be replaced by Wonkette's Alex Pareene.
The literary journal n+1 published a long piece on the history and future of Gawker, concluding that, "You could say that as Gawker Media grew, from Gawker’s success, Gawker outlived the conditions for its existence".
In 2008, weekend editor Ian Spiegelman quit Gawker over an unspecified salary dispute. He later left a comment on the site denouncing what he said was its practice of hiring full-time employees as independent contractors in order to avoid paying taxes and employment benefits.
On November 12, 2008, it was announced that further changes were to take place in response to economic hardships with the selling of popular site Consumerist (blog) and the folding of Valleywag, with Managing Editor Owen Thomas being demoted to a columnist on Gawker and the rest of the staff being laid off. Accusations have since been made by members and staff writers that owner Nick Denton is looking to sell out all of the Gawker sites while they are still profitable.
In December 2009, Nick Denton was nominated for "Media Entrepreneur of the Decade" by Adweek and Gawker was named "Blog of the Decade" by the advertising trade. Brian Morrissey of Adweek said "Gawker remains the epitome of blogging: provocative, brash, and wildly entertaining".
In February 2010, Denton announced that Gawker was acquiring the "people directory" site CityFile.com, and was hiring that site's editor and publisher, Remy Stern, as the new editor-in-chief of Gawker. Gabriel Snyder, who had been editor-in-chief for the past 18 months and had greatly increased the site's readership, released a memo saying he was being let go from the job.
In December 2011, A. J. Daulerio, former Editor-in-Chief of Gawker Media sports site Deadspin replaced Remy Stern as Editor-in-Chief at Gawker. Also several other editors, contributing editors, and authors left or were replaced, most high-profile of who was Richard Lawson, who went to the Atlantic Wire. 
In 2012, the website changed its focus away from editorial content and toward what its new editor-in-chief A. J. Daulerio called "traffic whoring" and "SEO bomb throws". In January 2013 Daulerio reportedly asked for more responsibility over other Gawker Media properties, but after a controversial tenure was told by publisher Denton that he was not "responsible" enough. Daulerio was replaced as editor-in-chief by longtime Gawker writer John Cook.
Gawker usually publishes more than 20 posts daily during the week, sometimes reaching 30 posts a day, with limited publishing on the weekends. The site also publishes content from its sister sites. Gawker's content consists of celebrity and media industry gossip, critiques of mainstream news outlets and New York-centric stories. The stories generally come from anonymous tips from media employees, found mistakes and faux pas in news stories caught by readers and other blogs, and original reporting.
On July 3, 2006, when publisher Nick Denton replaced Jesse Oxfeld with Alex Balk, Oxfeld claimed it was an attempt to make the blog more mainstream and less media-focused, ending a tradition of heavy media coverage at Gawker.
On March 14, 2006, Gawker.com launched Gawker Stalker Maps, a mashup of the site's Gawker Stalker feature and Google Maps. Gawker Stalker, originally a weekly roundup of celebrity sightings in New York City submitted by Gawker readers, first posted on April 21, 2003, is now frequently updated, and the sightings are displayed on a map.
The feature has drawn criticism from celebrities and publicists for encouraging stalking, and George Clooney rep Stan Rosenfeld called Gawker Stalker "a dangerous thing". Jessica Coen has said that the map is harmless, that Gawker readers are "for the most part, a very educated, well-meaning bunch", and that "if there is someone really intending to do a celebrity harm, there are much better ways to go about doing that than looking at the Gawker Stalker".
Gawker.com/stalker now redirects to gawker.com/tag/stalker and the map is no longer posted online.
Viacom freelancer rights
Gawker's coverage of benefit cuts announced December 4, 2007, for freelancers working at media company Viacom has been acknowledged as playing a major role in reinstating many of the workers' rights. After Viacom "permalancers" took to the streets for several days to protest the cuts, Gawker reported on December 12, 2007, that the company had reversed its position. On January 31, 2008, Gawker's Maggie Shnayerson reported that Viacom subsidiary MTV Networks would convert 1,000 freelance jobs to full-time positions.
Tom Cruise video
On January 15, 2008, Gawker mirrored the Scientology video featuring Tom Cruise from the recently removed posting on YouTube. They soon posted a copyright infringement notice written by lawyers for Scientology. As of January 3, 2009, the video has not been removed and a lawsuit has not been filed.
Sarah Palin email leak
On September 17, 2008, in reporting that pranksters associated with 4Chan had hacked the personal e-mail account of Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Gawker published screenshots of the emails, photos, and address list obtained by the hackers. While accessing personal e-mail accounts without authorization constitutes a federal crime, current DOJ interpretation of this statute following the decision in Theofel v. Farey-Jones is that perpetrators may only be prosecuted for reading "unopened" emails. FBI Spokesman Eric Gonzalez in Anchorage, Alaska, confirmed that an investigation was underway.
Erin Andrews peephole video
On July 17, 2009, Gawker-owned sports blog Deadspin reported that ESPN lawyers sent a letter to a website owner who was hosting videos of a woman who looked like journalist Erin Andrews. After that story broke, Andrews' attorney confirmed it was her featured in the peephole video.
Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart sex video
In December 2010, DNS service for WikiLeaks went offline in the United States. Gawker misreported that easyDNS was to blame; in fact, EveryDNS was the DNS provider for the domain wikileaks.org. Gawker responded to complaints from easyDNS:
- "We will fix. You do not get a tweet or correction. Now stop emailing and calling us, please."
easyDNS complained that they were unjustly scolded after Gawker had slandered them.
Chris Lee Craigslist emails
In February 2011, Gawker posted an email exchange between United States Congressman Chris Lee and a woman he had met through a personal ad on Craigslist. The emails included the married Lee describing himself as a divorced lobbyist and a photo of him posing shirtless. Lee resigned his Congressional seat within hours of Gawker's story.
2010 data breach incident
On December 11, 2010, Gawker and Gizmodo were hacked by a group of hackers named Gnosis. The hackers gained root access to the Linux based servers, access to the source code, access to Gawker's custom CMS, databases (including writer and user passwords), Google Apps, and real-time chat logs from Gawker's Campfire instance in addition to the Twitter accounts of Nick Denton and Gizmodo. The hacker Group stated that they went after Gawker for their "outright arrogance" and for a previous feud between Gawker and 4Chan. Gawker in response to the hacking incident asked all its users to change their passwords and posted an advisory notice as well.
2012 Michael Brutsch unmasking
On October 12, 2012, Adrian Chen posted an article identifying Reddit moderator Violentacrez as Michael Brutsch. In the days prior to publication of the story, Reddit's main politics channel, r/politics, and a number of other forums on the site banned Gawker links from their page; at one point, Gawker was banned from all of Reddit.
2012 editorial change
In November 2011, Nick Denton announced that Deadspin editor-in-chief A. J. Daulerio would replace Remy Stern as editor-in-chief at Gawker. At the time, Daulerio was most well known for publishing a photograph of Brett Favre's penis at Deadspin, despite the recipient of the photograph, Florida State University Cowgirl Jenn Sterger, explicitly requesting that he not do so.
Daulerio shifted the focus of the site away from editorial content and more toward what he described as "traffic-whoring" and "SEO bomb-throws." Daulerio wrote of the site's editorial content contributors, "The writers not relegated to traffic-whoring duty will still post, just less frequently than many of them are probably used to." As part of Daulerio's changes, he printed a private e-mail to Nick Denton from NBC News anchor Brian Williams complaining about the weekend content and its coverage of Lana Del Rey on Saturday Night Live. NBC's public relations department asked the site to take it down, writing, "That was sent in confidence as friends and absolutely never intended to be public". Daulerio responded that e-mails are publishable and that people such as Williams should be "prepared for the tar and feathering that will follow". Williams reportedly received an apology from Denton, but on NBC's news magazine Rock Center Denton only said that it was a "mess up" but that he does not apologize.
Another change Daulerio initiated was to the site's commenter system. In April 2012, all "starred" commenters (people whose comments were automatically given prominence) lost their rankings. The new proprietary algorithm to promote comments, called Powwow, is done via a computer as opposed to human commenters. Andrew Phelps, writing for Nieman Journalism Lab, stated, "Half of people think Gawker is diluting its high-quality material with Chinese goats; the other half think Gawker should stick to Chinese goats and stop trying to do real journalism".
- "Gawker.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- "Who Makes How Much – New York's Salary Guide 2005". New York Magazine. 2005-09-25.
- Blumenkranz, Carla (2007-12-03). "Gawker: 2002-2007". n+1.
- Spiegelman, Ian (2009-05-16). "Comment on article 'Times: Hamptons Just Like Us, Cutely Conserving for "Thrifty" Summer'". Gawker.com.
- Hansell, Saul (2008-10-03). "Gawker Cutbacks an Early Indicator of Ad Slowdown – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com". Bits.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
- "Extremely literal boss demotes editor to columnist – self-referential – Gawker". Valleywag.com. 2008-11-12. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
- Popken, Ben (2008-11-12). "Consumerist Is For Sale". The Consumerist. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
- "AdweekMedia: Best of the 2000s – Blog of the Decade". Best of the 2000s. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
- Stelter, Brian (2010-02-15). "Gawker Acquires a Guide to Big Names in the City". New York Times.
- Gawker Staff (October 26, 2011). "Goodbyes: A Tribute to Richard Lawson On His Second Last Day". Gawker.
- Joe Pompeo (3:29 pm Oct. 25, 2011). "Richard Lawson leaves Gawker to work for old Gawker boss, at Atlantic Monthly". Capital New York.
- Gawker Will Be Conducting An Experiment, Please Enjoy Your Free Cute Cats Singing And Sideboobs, A.J. Daulerio, Gawker, January 23, 2012
- Four truths about Gawker-Brian Williams e-mail thing, Erik Wemple, Washington Post, January 17, 2012; accessed June 20, 2012
- A.J. Daulerio Is Leaving Gawker for ‘Who the F#@K Knows’, Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke and Hunter Walker, New York Observer, January 10, 2013; accessed January 11, 2013
- A.J. Daulerio Out as Gawker Editor in Chief, Charlie Warzel, AdWeek, January 10, 2013; accessed January 11, 2013
- A.J. Daulerio Out As Gawker Editor; John Cook to Step Up, Joe Coscarelli, New York, January 10, 2013; accessed January 11, 2013
- Oxfeld, Jesse (2006-07-03). "Letter From the Ex-Editor: It's a Long Way to Tipperary, It's a Long Way to Go". Gawker.com.
- "Introducing Gawker Stalker Maps". Gawker.com. 2006-03-14.
- "Gawker.com launches 'stalker' map". MSNBC. 2006-03-21.
- Kamenetz, Anya (2007-12-13). "Permalancers: Unite!". TheNation.com.
- Shnayerson, Maggie (2007-12-12). "Breaking: In Major Reversal Viacom Returns Healthcare To Freelancers". Gawker.com.
- Shnayerson, Maggie (2008-01-31). "1,000 MTVN Permalancers To Earn Staff Positions". Gawker.com.
- "Scientology video featuring Tom Cruise is leaked to the net". 2008-01-16. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
- "Sarah Palin's Personal Emails – Exclusive". Gawker. 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
- "Palin Emails Reveal Press Hate – Close read". Gawker. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
- Albanesius, Chloe (2010-02-04). "Palin Hackers May Dodge Feds via DOJ Loophole – News and Analysis by PC Magazine". Pcmag.com. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
- "CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive – McCain camp seeks investigation over reported e-mail hack « – Blogs from CNN.com". Politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com. 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
- Posted: 3:22 AM, July 21, 2009 (2009-07-21). "Espn Reported Erin Andrews Caught Naked On Peep Camera Through Hotel Room Peep Hole". NYPOST.com. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
- "Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart's McSteamy Video Tape With Ex-Beauty Queen – ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
- "Wikileaks takedown fiasco underscores pathetic state of internet journalism" (Blog). easydns.org.
- David A. Fahrenthold and Aaron Blake (February 9, 2011). "Rep. Chris Lee resigns after reports of Craigslist flirtation". The Washington Post.
- Kennedy, Daniel (Dec. 13 2010). "The Real Lessons Of Gawker’s Security Mess". Forbes. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
- "Gawker website Hacked by Gnosis ; Gnosis says they are not 4chan or Anonymous". Techshrimp.com. 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- Hall, Colby (December 12, 2010). "Gawker Hacked". Mediaite. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
- Brian, Matt (Dec 13th, 2010). "Gawker hackers release file with FTP, author & reader usernames/passwords". Retrieved 13 December 2010.
- "Commenting Accounts Compromised — Change Your Passwords". Lifehacker.com. 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- "ADVISORY NOTICE (No action required)". Gawker.com. 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- October 14, 2012 10:50AM (2012-10-14). "Michael Brutsch exposed as the Reddit's Violentacrez, the world's worst internet troll | thetelegraph.com.au". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "Michael Brutsch: Internet troll behind Reddit 'Creepshot' forum unmasked as grandfather from Texas | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. 2012-10-13. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "Unmasking Reddit's Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web". Gawker.com. 2012-10-12. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- Coppelman, Alyssa (2012-10-11). "Reddit bans Gawker links over Adrian Chen story about porn purveyor Violentacres". Slate.com. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- The Daily Dot (2012-10-11). "Redditors declare war on Gawker Media". Daily Dot. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "Leaked Reddit Chat Logs Reveal Moderators' Real Concern". Buzzfeed.com. 2012-10-13. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- Gawker names Deadspin’s A.J. Daulerio new editor-in-chief, Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News, November 28, 2011; accessed June 20, 2012
- Favre’s dirty pics: A lesson in shady journalism, Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon, August 25, 2010; accessed June 20, 2012
- Watch Gawker Boss Nick Denton Squirm When NBC Asks Him Why He Published Brian Williams' Email, Jay Yarow, Business Insider, March 8, 2012
- Greetings, Today’s The Day All Starred Commenters Will Die, A.J. Daulerio, April 17, 2012
- Why Do People Care About Gawker's New Comment Platform? Denton and company boldly try to reinvent the system, Charlie Warzel, AdWeek, April 26, 2012
- Gawker: We want to elevate the discourse about frogs who sit like humans, Andrew Phelps, Nieman Journalism Lab, April 26, 2012
- An Important Announcement Regarding Your Gawker Political Desk: Goodbye, Jim Newell, Gawker, January 12, 2012
- So This Is Goodbye, Matt Cherette, Gawker, December 12, 2011
- A Fond Farewell to Brian Moylan On His Last Day, Gawker, March 13, 2012
- (25 May 2012). Maureen O’Connor Joins The Cut, Women's Wear Daily