Posts tagged with ‘gawker’

Internet slang. We used to make an effort to avoid this, and now I see us all falling back into the habit. We want to sound like regular adult human beings, not Buzzfeed writers or Reddit commenters. Therefore: No “epic.” No “pwn.” No “+1.” No “derp.” No “this”/”this just happened.” No “OMG.” No “WTF.” No “lulz.” No “FTW.” No “win.” No “amazeballs.” And so on. Nothing will ever “win the internet” on Gawker. As with all rules there are exceptions. Err on the side of the Times, not XOJane.

— Max Read, Editor, Gawker, in a memo to staff, via Poynter. Gawker bans ‘Internet slang’.

Gawker Reimagines Commenting with Kinja
Blog network Gawker unveiled an additional reblogging feature on Kinja, its blog aggregator and discussion platform. Now each time Gawker readers re-blog or share articles on the platform, they can rewrite the headlines and lead paragraphs, Nieman Lab reports:

The reframing functionality…allows several versions of the same story to circulate under different headlines. So where one reader might write the headline “Cat Neckties Are Things That Exist; Are Popular,” another could share that original post but reframe it as “Nutty cat owners forcing pets to wear ‘cat neckties.’” An original post with the headline “The Truth About Being Broke” might be reframed as “How to survive being totally broke.”

Gawker CEO Nick Denton launched Kinja in 2004 and sees comments as content, not just noise attached to content. “The whole point of Kinja is to turn the conversation into news — on a grander scale than we do already on the Gawker blogs,” Denton told Nieman Lab. 

“For instance, say a story was written for gamers — they can translate it for a more general audience,” Denton said. “And, if that URL is shared, it is shared with the new headline and intro.”
So a reader gets to repurpose and share an article in whatever context she chooses, with the original article appearing in full below her headline and introduction, but the original story gets the traffic. Gawker editors can also snap up original reader contributions to Kinja, reframe them, and share those reader-generated posts with the wider Gawker network. Staffers can aggregate commenters; commenters can aggregate staffers; at some point, the distinctions start to dissolve.
Wresting this kind of editorial control from the professionals may make some journalists uneasy, but it’s already how people are interacting with content (and with one another) on other platforms. Denton calls Kinja “by far the most significant tech investment” that the company has ever made, with 30 tech staffers working full-time on the project for the past year.

Image: Kinja logo, Wikipedia

Gawker Reimagines Commenting with Kinja

Blog network Gawker unveiled an additional reblogging feature on Kinja, its blog aggregator and discussion platform. Now each time Gawker readers re-blog or share articles on the platform, they can rewrite the headlines and lead paragraphs, Nieman Lab reports:

The reframing functionality…allows several versions of the same story to circulate under different headlines. So where one reader might write the headline “Cat Neckties Are Things That Exist; Are Popular,” another could share that original post but reframe it as “Nutty cat owners forcing pets to wear ‘cat neckties.’” An original post with the headline “The Truth About Being Broke” might be reframed as “How to survive being totally broke.”

Gawker CEO Nick Denton launched Kinja in 2004 and sees comments as content, not just noise attached to content. “The whole point of Kinja is to turn the conversation into news — on a grander scale than we do already on the Gawker blogs,” Denton told Nieman Lab. 

“For instance, say a story was written for gamers — they can translate it for a more general audience,” Denton said. “And, if that URL is shared, it is shared with the new headline and intro.”

So a reader gets to repurpose and share an article in whatever context she chooses, with the original article appearing in full below her headline and introduction, but the original story gets the traffic. Gawker editors can also snap up original reader contributions to Kinja, reframe them, and share those reader-generated posts with the wider Gawker network. Staffers can aggregate commenters; commenters can aggregate staffers; at some point, the distinctions start to dissolve.

Wresting this kind of editorial control from the professionals may make some journalists uneasy, but it’s already how people are interacting with content (and with one another) on other platforms. Denton calls Kinja “by far the most significant tech investment” that the company has ever made, with 30 tech staffers working full-time on the project for the past year.

Image: Kinja logo, Wikipedia

Image Management
Beyonce Knowles has banned press photographers from her ‘Mrs. Carter’ concert tour in an attempt to prevent unbecoming photos of herself from being used by the media. This appears to be a response to unflattering photos published by Gawker and Buzzfeed from the singer’s Superbowl performance.
Now, Beyonce’s personal photographer, Frank Micelotta, is the only one officially allowed to capture images of Beyonce during her concerts. The press is then given a link to an “official” website where they must register to download “approved” images.
In an article in Slate, Alyssa Rosenberg points out the quandary of celebrities censoring — or otherwise trying to completely control — their pictures:

"[Beyonce is] turning the media into a distribution machine for whatever message she wants to send, rather than accepting that others have the right to judge the tour, as a product she’s offering up."

FJP: Pop stars aren’t the only ones practicing the dark arts of image control.
Earlier this winter Politico published an article about the Washington press corps’ frustration with their access to the White House. Part of that criticism was the Obama administration’s use of social media to bypass them with images and information posted directly to the public.
For example, the White House Flickr gallery is made up of photographs by Pete Souza, the official Obama administration photographer. Souza captures and even stages pictures of the president — like Obama’s moment of silence photo op held in honor of the Boston bombings — and many of those images have been used by the news media.
Is it acceptable that politicians can craft their own image, but not celebrities? And how authentic can journalism be if everyone gets their images from one, tightly controlled source?
Sort of related: Attorney, Carolyn E. Wright, points out in  Slate’s Manners For The Digital Age podcast: if you’re in a publicly-accessible area, and you don’t have an expectation of privacy, you’re fair game to be photographed.
Famous people, beware: as long as the media have their will, they’ll get you on camera their way — be you Obama, or be you Beyonce. — Krissy
Image: Beyonce from the Super Bowl, via Pocket-Lint.

Image Management

Beyonce Knowles has banned press photographers from her ‘Mrs. Carter’ concert tour in an attempt to prevent unbecoming photos of herself from being used by the media. This appears to be a response to unflattering photos published by Gawker and Buzzfeed from the singer’s Superbowl performance.

Now, Beyonce’s personal photographer, Frank Micelotta, is the only one officially allowed to capture images of Beyonce during her concerts. The press is then given a link to an “official” website where they must register to download “approved” images.

In an article in Slate, Alyssa Rosenberg points out the quandary of celebrities censoring — or otherwise trying to completely control — their pictures:

"[Beyonce is] turning the media into a distribution machine for whatever message she wants to send, rather than accepting that others have the right to judge the tour, as a product she’s offering up."

FJP: Pop stars aren’t the only ones practicing the dark arts of image control.

Earlier this winter Politico published an article about the Washington press corps’ frustration with their access to the White House. Part of that criticism was the Obama administration’s use of social media to bypass them with images and information posted directly to the public.

For example, the White House Flickr gallery is made up of photographs by Pete Souza, the official Obama administration photographer. Souza captures and even stages pictures of the president — like Obama’s moment of silence photo op held in honor of the Boston bombings — and many of those images have been used by the news media.

Is it acceptable that politicians can craft their own image, but not celebrities? And how authentic can journalism be if everyone gets their images from one, tightly controlled source?

Sort of related: Attorney, Carolyn E. Wright, points out in Slate’s Manners For The Digital Age podcast: if you’re in a publicly-accessible area, and you don’t have an expectation of privacy, you’re fair game to be photographed.

Famous people, beware: as long as the media have their will, they’ll get you on camera their way — be you Obama, or be you Beyonce. — Krissy

Image: Beyonce from the Super Bowl, via Pocket-Lint.

Gawker lets us name ourselves again - the return of screen names with numbers (but more importantly: anonymity)
Gawker has implemented a new comment system that doesn’t ask you to link your Facebook, LinkedIn, Airbnb and Pinterest profiles before you comment. You can now pretend it’s 2004, and you’re ready for heated discussions about whatever it was you were into then.
Here’s how they’ll keep it civil:

Each contributor — whether anonymous or not — will now be given the power to moderate the conversation they spark. Interesting questions might warrant a response; corroborating responses can be accepted; and harassers can be dismissed. Give the source the ability to tell us what they know, then let the reader determine whether they’ve satisfied the critics, just as one would in judging a panel debate or a courtroom cross-examination.

And here’s how it’s worked today — not too bad.
But Gawker isn’t the only site doing this, and the other one isn’t just Reddit. 4chan  founder Christopher Poole has long claimed that his site, which, among other descriptions, has been called “[the] web’s most bewildering — and influential — subculture,” thrives on its users’ anonymity. Think content, not creator.

Gawker lets us name ourselves again - the return of screen names with numbers (but more importantly: anonymity)

Gawker has implemented a new comment system that doesn’t ask you to link your Facebook, LinkedIn, Airbnb and Pinterest profiles before you comment. You can now pretend it’s 2004, and you’re ready for heated discussions about whatever it was you were into then.

Here’s how they’ll keep it civil:

Each contributor — whether anonymous or not — will now be given the power to moderate the conversation they spark. Interesting questions might warrant a response; corroborating responses can be accepted; and harassers can be dismissed. Give the source the ability to tell us what they know, then let the reader determine whether they’ve satisfied the critics, just as one would in judging a panel debate or a courtroom cross-examination.

And here’s how it’s worked today — not too bad.

But Gawker isn’t the only site doing this, and the other one isn’t just Reddit. 4chan  founder Christopher Poole has long claimed that his site, which, among other descriptions, has been called “[the] web’s most bewildering — and influential — subculture,” thrives on its users’ anonymity. Think content, not creator.

Explainer: Why No Pulitzer for Editorial Writing?
Two categories of the 2012 Pulitzer Prizes were not awarded prizes this year: fiction and editorial writing. 
This is the 11th time the fiction prize was withheld, the last time being in 1977. Horror and discussion ensued, takes of which can be read in yesterday’s NY Times Media Decoder piece, or listened to at NPR’s The Two-Way. The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Shea speculates that the decision reflects the awkward add-on role the arts is still playing in the Pulitzers. 
Let’s stay on journalism, though. There hasn’t been too much talk about the withheld editorial writing prize, except this comment from Gawker: 

We’d like to state our formal strong agreement with the Pulitzer Committee’s acknowledgment—however tardy—that institutional editorial writing is a worthless anachronism in this modern media age.

Anachronism? Really? This year is the ninth time the editorial writing award has been withheld (last was 2008). First, let’s understand the process of awards and why they can be withheld.
Journalists, papers, news organizations, and editors submit nominations for each category. Then a jury (selected by the Pulitzer Prize Office with consultation from the Pulitzer Prize Board and others)  is assigned to each category. In this case, the jury had three days to read 44 editorial submissions and recommend three finalists to the Pulitzer Prize Board, who would then pick a winner to receive $10,000.
The jury has to write up a description of each finalist they select, but indicate no preference among the three. The Plan of Award establishes guidelines used to evaluate categories. Editorial Writing reads like this: 

For distinguished editorial writing, the test of excellence being clearness of style, moral purpose, sound reasoning, and power to influence public opinion in what the writer conceives to be the right direction, using any available journalistic tool.

But the board can also opt not to pick a winner:

If in any year all the competitors in any category shall fall below the standard of excellence fixed by The Pulitzer Prize Board, the amount of such prize or prizes may be withheld.

Also, if in any year all of the competitors in any category should fail to gain a majority vote of the board, the prize may be withheld. So what exactly happened to editorial writing this year? 
We called up Sig Gissler, Pulitzer Prize Board Administrator, to find out. “The three [finalists] were discussed at significant length,” he says, “and there were several votes but none of the three had a majority. The Board is dealing with 21 categories in a two day period, so in this case, they just decided to make no award and move on.” 
In accordance with their history of confidentiality,Gissler couldn’t tell us anything more specific than “there are always multiple factors and multiple perspectives involved in these decisions.”
You can read about the finalists here, all of which exemplify great journalist work.
Now, back to the snarky Gawker comment about editorial writing being a worthless anachronism in the modern media age.
Gissler clarifies that, “When the board makes a decision to not make an award, it’s a decision about the three entries in the competition; it’s not a statement about editorial writing across America.
Sorry, Gawker.
Two interesting questions do come to light, though. How is digital media changing editorial writing? And does the expansive reach of the internet and myriad mediums in which we can produce journalism make it harder to judge such things as “moral purpose” and “power to influence the public”?
“[Editorial writing] was one of the original categories and they wrote those words many, many years ago,” says Gissler. “I think the Board allowed them to stand but it’s really up to each jury to interpret and apply them.”
So we chatted with Richard Coe, chair of the editorial jury, and also editorial page editor at The Bulletin, about how to judge the influence of an editorial. He explains:

Let’s say if I were to write a series of editorials arguing for a change in a law. Either the law was changed or not. Whether or not what I wrote was published digitally or in a newspaper, it’s still difficult to measure influence. If the law was changed, then you know. If the law wasn’t changed, did it have an impact on the debate? You don’t know how much influence those editorials had unless after the change in the law, you have some legislators or lawmakers saying, ‘well this powerful series from the newspaper or online publication shaped our thinking.’ It’s always difficult to determine the influence that editorials have, and I’m not sure whether that changes if it’s a digital publication or not.

CJR’s Dean Starkman further comments on the difficulty to judge quality:

One thing the digital era has given us is ability to measure news quantity, down to the keystroke per second. There are good sides to this, and also very bad ones. But there is no metric for journalism quality, and there probably never will be one. And if you can’t measure it, it’s hard to make an argument for it. That’s just life in a bureaucracy. 

Evaluation doesn’t seem to be about to get any easier, but thinking about the possibilities for digital editorial writing is fun. Gissler weighs in:

In my perspective, [the digital age] gives editorial pages some new tools to use in their editorials. Some papers have been doing more of that than others. I’ve seen some that have interactive graphics sometimes and videos or that kind of material. We say that for the editorials, any available tool can be used presenting the editorials. So they don’t have to be text, for example. You can present ten items that you put into an entry and in theory you could have the majority of them be short videos. I’m not saying that’s what they should have done in this case. I’m just putting aside all those other questions. In theory, there is nothing to prevent the editorial pages from using the digital tools that are available to them.

So, was it too hard to judge? We’ll never know. Maybe the submissions had excellent “moral purpose” but could have done a better job using “any available journalistic tool.” For an industry in flux and an ocean of new tools to explore, I wouldn’t be surprised. Is editorial writing still alive and kicking? It sure seems to have a lot of potential. Is the Pulitzer Board willing to explore these new forms of mixed-media editorial writing? Absolutely. —Jihii

Explainer: Why No Pulitzer for Editorial Writing?

Two categories of the 2012 Pulitzer Prizes were not awarded prizes this year: fiction and editorial writing. 

This is the 11th time the fiction prize was withheld, the last time being in 1977. Horror and discussion ensued, takes of which can be read in yesterday’s NY Times Media Decoder piece, or listened to at NPR’s The Two-Way. The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Shea speculates that the decision reflects the awkward add-on role the arts is still playing in the Pulitzers. 

Let’s stay on journalism, though. There hasn’t been too much talk about the withheld editorial writing prize, except this comment from Gawker

We’d like to state our formal strong agreement with the Pulitzer Committee’s acknowledgment—however tardy—that institutional editorial writing is a worthless anachronism in this modern media age.

Anachronism? Really? This year is the ninth time the editorial writing award has been withheld (last was 2008). First, let’s understand the process of awards and why they can be withheld.

Journalists, papers, news organizations, and editors submit nominations for each category. Then a jury (selected by the Pulitzer Prize Office with consultation from the Pulitzer Prize Board and others)  is assigned to each category. In this case, the jury had three days to read 44 editorial submissions and recommend three finalists to the Pulitzer Prize Board, who would then pick a winner to receive $10,000.

The jury has to write up a description of each finalist they select, but indicate no preference among the three. The Plan of Award establishes guidelines used to evaluate categories. Editorial Writing reads like this: 

For distinguished editorial writing, the test of excellence being clearness of style, moral purpose, sound reasoning, and power to influence public opinion in what the writer conceives to be the right direction, using any available journalistic tool.

But the board can also opt not to pick a winner:

If in any year all the competitors in any category shall fall below the standard of excellence fixed by The Pulitzer Prize Board, the amount of such prize or prizes may be withheld.

Also, if in any year all of the competitors in any category should fail to gain a majority vote of the board, the prize may be withheld. So what exactly happened to editorial writing this year? 

We called up Sig Gissler, Pulitzer Prize Board Administrator, to find out. “The three [finalists] were discussed at significant length,” he says, “and there were several votes but none of the three had a majority. The Board is dealing with 21 categories in a two day period, so in this case, they just decided to make no award and move on.” 

In accordance with their history of confidentiality,Gissler couldn’t tell us anything more specific than “there are always multiple factors and multiple perspectives involved in these decisions.”

You can read about the finalists here, all of which exemplify great journalist work.

Now, back to the snarky Gawker comment about editorial writing being a worthless anachronism in the modern media age.

Gissler clarifies that, “When the board makes a decision to not make an award, it’s a decision about the three entries in the competition; it’s not a statement about editorial writing across America.

Sorry, Gawker.

Two interesting questions do come to light, though. How is digital media changing editorial writing? And does the expansive reach of the internet and myriad mediums in which we can produce journalism make it harder to judge such things as “moral purpose” and “power to influence the public”?

“[Editorial writing] was one of the original categories and they wrote those words many, many years ago,” says Gissler. “I think the Board allowed them to stand but it’s really up to each jury to interpret and apply them.”

So we chatted with Richard Coe, chair of the editorial jury, and also editorial page editor at The Bulletin, about how to judge the influence of an editorial. He explains:

Let’s say if I were to write a series of editorials arguing for a change in a law. Either the law was changed or not. Whether or not what I wrote was published digitally or in a newspaper, it’s still difficult to measure influence. If the law was changed, then you know. If the law wasn’t changed, did it have an impact on the debate? You don’t know how much influence those editorials had unless after the change in the law, you have some legislators or lawmakers saying, ‘well this powerful series from the newspaper or online publication shaped our thinking.’ It’s always difficult to determine the influence that editorials have, and I’m not sure whether that changes if it’s a digital publication or not.

CJR’s Dean Starkman further comments on the difficulty to judge quality:

One thing the digital era has given us is ability to measure news quantity, down to the keystroke per second. There are good sides to this, and also very bad ones. But there is no metric for journalism quality, and there probably never will be one. And if you can’t measure it, it’s hard to make an argument for it. That’s just life in a bureaucracy. 

Evaluation doesn’t seem to be about to get any easier, but thinking about the possibilities for digital editorial writing is fun. Gissler weighs in:

In my perspective, [the digital age] gives editorial pages some new tools to use in their editorials. Some papers have been doing more of that than others. I’ve seen some that have interactive graphics sometimes and videos or that kind of material. We say that for the editorials, any available tool can be used presenting the editorials. So they don’t have to be text, for example. You can present ten items that you put into an entry and in theory you could have the majority of them be short videos. I’m not saying that’s what they should have done in this case. I’m just putting aside all those other questions. In theory, there is nothing to prevent the editorial pages from using the digital tools that are available to them.

So, was it too hard to judge? We’ll never know. Maybe the submissions had excellent “moral purpose” but could have done a better job using “any available journalistic tool.” For an industry in flux and an ocean of new tools to explore, I wouldn’t be surprised. Is editorial writing still alive and kicking? It sure seems to have a lot of potential. Is the Pulitzer Board willing to explore these new forms of mixed-media editorial writing? Absolutely. —Jihii

This is Going to Get Awkward: Fox News Finds Gawker Mole →

Yesterday, Gawker published an article by their newest contributor, “The Fox Mole,” a long-time employee of the network.

In it, the mole outlines his or her long list of grievances and then gives a behind the scenes account (and video) of pre-interview chatter between Mitt Romney and Sean Hannity where they talk horseback riding, primping and Donald Trump.

Today, Fox confirms to Mediaite that they know who The Fox Mole is. In a terse statement they write, “We found the person and we’re exploring legal options at this time.”

Traffic Whoring and the Newsroom →

A fascinating look at Gawker’s newsroom by Nieman Lab’s Andrew Phelps.

In particular, the results of an experiment in which each staff writer spends one day a week on “traffic-whoring duty” while the rest pursue in-depth articles.

Gawker editor AJ Daulerio explained the experiment back in January:

This week, the writers of this site have all agreed to participate in an obnoxious, but worthwhile exercise. Each day, a different staff writer will be forced to break their usual routine and offer up posts they feel would garner the most traffic. While that writer struggles to find dancing cat videos and Burger King bathroom fights or any other post they feel will add those precious, precious new eyeballs, the rest of the staff will spend time on more substantive stories they may have neglected due to the rigors of scouring the internet each day to hit some imaginary quota. The writers not relegated to traffic-whoring duty will still post, just less frequently than many of them are probably used to.

Andrew Phelps, Nieman Lab. I can’t stop reading this analysis of Gawker’s editorial strategy.


Most Major Newspaper Editors Don’t Even Use Twitter
Thanks to Jim Romenesko, who went and looked at the the ten editors of America’s ten largest newspapers, and what they’re doing on the Twitter.
Four of the ten appear to have no Twitter account whatsoever.
Three others have accounts that are secret or inactive.
Two others have not tweeted since June. (Except, whoops, Bill Keller just did, as I was writing this! He reads Romenesko, obv.)
One (NYDN editor Kevin Convey) has an active, currently updated Twitter account.

for the whole article, see Gawker#mce_temp_url#

Most Major Newspaper Editors Don’t Even Use Twitter

Thanks to Jim Romenesko, who went and looked at the the ten editors of America’s ten largest newspapers, and what they’re doing on the Twitter.

  • Four of the ten appear to have no Twitter account whatsoever.
  • Three others have accounts that are secret or inactive.
  • Two others have not tweeted since June. (Except, whoops, Bill Keller just did, as I was writing this! He reads Romenesko, obv.)
  • One (NYDN editor Kevin Convey) has an active, currently updated Twitter account.

for the whole article, see Gawker#mce_temp_url#

If Gawker is trying to get off [the CPM] treadmill, for crying out loud, then maybe there’s hope for us all.

— Ryan Chittum, CJR

People say it’s all about ‘engagement’ and ‘interaction,’ but that’s wrong… New visitors are a better indicator and predictor of future growth.
To follow the daily or hourly news cycle is the media equivalent of day-trading: it’s frenzied, pointless and usually unprofitable.

— Nick Denton, Atlantic Wire, What I Read.

The Print Oligopoly Coming to a News Stand Near You

Quite recently, the New York TimesWashington Post, and LA Times were three of America’s best newspapers. Now, they’re each facing potentially era-ending challenges. Is there any hope for the Great American Newspaper? Sure—for the lucky ones…

Access to the best and most timely information, in the form of the best newspapers, is a significant advantage in an information economy. Twenty years from now, we’ll look back on the era of universal free online access to newspaper content as a historical aberration, and a dumb one at that.

Information isn’t free. It’s expensive. Especially if you can’t afford it.

Gawker Media grew to maturity by exposing the foibles of legacy media employees and their top brass. With one or more of the leading national papers fearing for their very existence, Gawker properties continue to show impressive growth, and their bevvy of writers no longer need malign media bigwigs in order to satisfy an increasingly broad audience. My, how the tables have turned. 

Now it’s the first week of November, and Daulerio is telling me how he landed his most controversial scoop as we fly over a quilt of farmland on the way from New York to Indiana. In a few hours, he’s expected in Indianapolis to participate in a panel discussion titled “Where’s the Line? Sports Media in the Digital Age.” More than any other sports journalist in years, Daulerio has been redefining where that line is, and then crashing over it. His tactics—reporting rumors, paying for news, and making Deadspin’s money on stories that are really about sex, not sports—are questionable. His success is not. When he became editor of the site in July 2008, it had 700,000 readers per month. Today it has 2.3 million.

— Gabriel Sherman, GQ, The Worldwide Leader in Dong Shots

From: gawker@hushmail.com
Subject: gawker
Date: December 11, 2010 7:35:09 PM EST
To: hq@tubescodecontent.com

It has come to our attention that you are reporting about gawker.com being hacked by Anonymous and Operation payback in the war against the wikileaks drama that is currently taking place.

While we feel for Wikileaks plight, and encourage everyone to donate and mirror the site, we are not related to Operation Payback or engaged in their activities.

We have compromised all their email accounts and databases, and a significant portion of the passwords have been unhashed into plaintext.

To prove the validity of our claims, here is a sample of the database;

[—redacted—]

And a note to gawker if you feel the need to post this:

You said you were not afraid of 4chan and being hacked. Well 4chan couldn’t handle you, so we came in.

- Gnosis
Where is your god now?

— Email received by Future Journalism Project Producer Michael Cervieri in response to an article posted by one of his students at TubesCodeContent.com, his teaching site at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.