Today’s Gawker writers wouldn’t know what journalistic ethics were if they fell over them...
I’ve not been around these parts for a long time. I left because I realized I was no longer the audience for the puerile, badly written and edited dross Jezebel had started to churn out. Truth be told, the rot set in when original editor Anna Holmes left, but I stuck around because there were still some good writers here with integrity (Dodai, Irin Carmon) and others who made me laugh (Burt, Lindy). Also, the main page commetariat! How intelligent, how knowledgeable, how witty they were! Others (those without stars) griped about the star system, but you gotta admit, we *did* get a better quality of comment back in the day.
I still check in from time to time, when I’m *really* bored, which is how I happened across this latest shitstorm. Forgive me if I couldn’t resist dropping by, like the bad fairy at the christening, to say BAH HA HA HA HA HA HA TOLJA!
I love that these writers are trying to take the high ground; they must be deluded or just ignorant. Let’s leave aside the lack of journalistic rigor they applied to checking the source of the story (a chancer, by all accounts); let’s even leave aside the newsworthiness of this petty story itself (it’s not newsworthy, it’s a hit on Gawker rival Conde Nast) - the fact that these whining babies are claiming it was the ‘business-side concerns’ reveals the true depth of their naivety and lack of training: in fact, it was the head of their legal team who pulled the story. Yes, they didn’t even run such an obviously litigious piece by their lawyers before publication. THIS IS PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISM 101. And to drag the union into this to make themselves sound like fucking truth warriors objecting to corporate censorship is heinous - why besmirch trade unionism with this horseshit? It’s also irrelevant in this case, and I truly hope the union distances itself from this entire episode.
As a properly trained, professional print journalist for many years (hell, as a person in possession of a brain), the lack of standards in the writing and editing here has always irked me - typos, name misspellings, factual inaccuracies, badly-written headlines, headlines that don’t scan correctly, etc. Of course, if you point any of this out in the comments, you get accused of pedantry and told these are rules that don’t apply to internet writing (ORLY? So getting the facts right and making a story easy to read and instantly understandable are not integral to good ‘journalism’?) Well guess what, dudes - it’s all of a piece. If you don’t employ fact-checkers and copy editors, forgive me for assuming your ‘journalism’ has no integrity. And look what’s happened - BOOM. Mic drop.
PS. It’s actually astonishing that this hasn’t happened more often; I guess because Gawker writers used to come from a print background where they were actually trained properly.