Gawker Media's Woes: What's The Next Snafu For Digital's Edgy Players?

Poof. One act of hubris, a snide journalistic decision — and you’re gone.

Gawker Media, under financial pressure from a $140 million legal judgment in the Hulk Hogan sex tape invasion-of-privacy lawsuit, is now filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. And the company looks to be sold.

Yes, journalists aren’t perfect when it comes to decision making. In the digital media age, there is a wide gulf between questionably valued and journalistically savvy content.

Leaving out the influence of billionaire Peter Thiel in providing the legal funding of the case, the Gawker Media-Hulk Hogan suit provides a window into journalistic concerns about digital content.

Beyond checking and doubling checking facts, there is context, and the structure of  snackable online content.  Are we looking at carrots, or chunky, fattening chips here?



This is compounded for digital media publishers with speed-to-publish concerns, and demands for high-volume content.

We do have Gawker Media’s “take no prisoners” approach to consider. Now, as a result of events, Nick Denton, founder of Gawker Media, has vowed to make the site nicer, shifting to politics and away from coverage of the New York media world and celebrity gossip, according to the New York Times.

But wait. Denton seems to be of two minds. He is also steadfastly sticking to his overall vision that the suit “will not silence our writers.” 

TV Watch sides with our MediaPost colleague Bob Garfield -- there is plenty of blame  to go all around with the Gawker situation.

But this should also haunt publishers who believe “anything goes,” where edgy, quickly produced and flimsy content can quickly derail media businesses.

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