Today marks the e-funeral for digital media pioneer Gawker.com. As is now well known, Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel succeeded in bankrupting the company after embarking on a personal and covert mission to financially extinguish the site . Whatever one thinks of Gawker and even the Hulk Hogan case in particular, that is a frightening reality for all independent and non-billionaire supported media entities.
When Mediaite launched in 2009, one of its stated inspirations was to have some Gawker in its DNA. No doubt Gawker diehards will bristle at the comparison as would many who call Mediate a digital home. But putting aside the objectionable elements of Gawker, which we would never adapt, the reality is that many of the reporters at Gawker did difficult, painstaking and original reporting . From being among the first to expose the underground online drug marketplace Silk Road to uncovering BuzzFeed’s propensity to remove articles critical of their advertisers . Call it gossip if you like, anyone in our world ought to call it good journalism. And maybe most importantly, love it or hate it, Gawker’s media coverage was almost always entertaining.
So this has inspired us to actively court that audience . In fact, we are now looking to hire at least one new writer who could do original media reporting/gossip in a Gawker-esque style — in its best sense of fearlessly taking readers behind the scenes of the media world . So if you always aspired to write for Gawker (or even umm are now) please apply for the position here.
And like Mediaite, Gawker also has had a vibrant comment section teeming with a mix of witty, biting and sometimes just obnoxious regular commenters who we hope will consider spending some time sparring with our regular crew of partisans, belletrists and trolls.
To be clear there’s no dancing on the Gawker grave here. Despite some fundamental differences in how we do business, no one on the editorial or business side, has ever expressed a modicum of glee in Gawker’s demise at the hands of Peter Thiel. Nor will we ever seek to recreate Gawker here at Mediate. But they did a lot of things we would be proud to add to our mission. They also created a devoted audience we would be crazy not to seek out (as well as the tipsters. . . here is the link for you!)
So in the spirit of a good comment thread we look forward to reading below all the reasons Gawker readers would never, ever set eyes on a site like Mediaite. PS you are welcome to return to remind us again and again.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org