The first name in the buyout option, William Arkin (does this mean there is a slight chance we might get Adam back? Please?) spoke with Poynter and sent out an email about his departure from Gawker. A few choice quotes (emphasis mine):
One last thought about Gawker: I’m grateful that they offered me an opportunity, there are some fantastic writers there and I truly admire the uniqueness (and fun) that Jalopnik, Deadspin, Jezebel, Gizmodo, and Kotaku represent. But like social media as a whole, it is also a miserable place, so driven by its own feverish pursuit that it has no clue what kind of world it inhabits and thus helps build. I hate to be hyperbolic, but want to understand ISIS or the Tea Party or Occupy or Charleston or Dylan? Look no further than Gawker and its ilk, which means look no further than twitter or your own so-called smartphone: We are making the world a miserable place. I’m glad I can withdraw and think about it.
Well, there we go: last week Denton was just like Hitler; today Gawker is just like ISIS. “I hate to be hyperbolic”. Heh.
UPDATE: I’m not making a new post for this so I’ll just add it here: very much worth a read, Alyssa Rosenberg’s “Gawker’s relaunch and the role of niceness in journalism” .
Matt Thompson, deputy editor of the Atlantic’s Web site and formerly of NPR, pointed me to NPR’s statement of principles, which emphasize “Respect,” a concept that is rather different from niceness. NPR’s understanding of the former suggests that “Everyone affected by our journalism deserves to be treated with decency and compassion,” urges its reporters to minimize the harm done to subjects of stories and to consider the norms in their subjects’ communities; niceness can be a much shallower thing, aimed at simply getting along rather than extending consideration even to subjects it would be easy to demonize, such as women who use drugs while they are pregnant.
As Arthur Chu noted in Salon, Gawker itself published one of the great critiques of the relative substanceless-ness niceness can acquire, Tom Scocca’s 2013 piece on smarm.