Mourning Gawker One Year After Its Death

One journalist says we need the site now more than ever; others disagree
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2017 5:30 PM CDT
Mourning Gawker One Year After Its Death
Gawker founder Nick Denton speaks to the media on Friday, March 18, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla.   (Eve Edelheit/The Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Gawker shut down exactly one year ago after a lawsuit involving Hulk Hogan and billionaire Peter Thiel, and in the Washington Post, Michael J. Socolow mourns the loss. "Gawker might have been foolhardy, reckless and ultimately self-destructive, but it was also, above all, courageous," he writes. "With the hindsight of Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the presidency, we should all recognize that courage in the media is needed now more than ever." Many may have considered the site a guilty pleasure, but it was unusually free of influence from corporations, celebrity PR teams, political operatives, and others. It concerned itself with gossip, sure, but it was also on a "crusade to save journalism" and was even partially responsible for exposing the Hillary Clinton email scandal. And, of course, the writers relentlessly skewered Donald Trump.

"All that’s really left to say is that Gawker is gone and that Donald Trump is president," Socolow concludes. "That simple reality should comfort the rich and powerful everywhere and chill the bones of the rest of us." Other coverage of the anniversary of Gawker's death:

  • The Daily Caller's response to Socolow's column is here.
  • The Federalist also has a takedown of his column here.
  • The Portland Mercury has links to some of the old Gawker writers' current work.
  • The Washington Post reports that the story about R. Kelly's alleged "cult" almost never ran, because media outlets were concerned about a Hogan-style lawsuit.
  • Fast Company runs down "five more chilling lawsuits meant to silence the media."
  • Nieman Lab looks at how past writers and others are remembering the site.
  • And the Hollywood Reporter notes that the fallout from Gawker's bankruptcy case is still continuing, and a recent judge's decision could make it easier to sue media and entertainment companies.
(More Gawker stories.)

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