Gawker: Is it the end of snark?

by Mathew on December 5, 2007 · 6 comments

As plenty of people probably know by now, Gawker has lost several senior staff members over the past week or so, including managing editor Choire Sicha (which is pronounced “Cory Seeka” in case you’re wondering — I know I was) and writer Emily Gould. There is plenty of commentary around about why they left, including some coverage at Women’s Wear Daily, and from my friend, the lovely and talented Rachel Sklar at The Huffington Post.

What I found interesting was that both Sicha and Gould said that it was the style of writing at Gawker that they couldn’t take any more. In the WWD piece, for example, Sicha says:

“I just feel like, now that everyone sort of operates at the speed we do, who’s actually going to do the stuff that takes some time or some reading?…Everything has become knee-jerk like we are.”

And Emily Gould says:

“Whatever Gawker originally set out to do, it kind of did, and now it just feels over… I don’t want to say the meanest thing or the most shocking thing possible anymore, because it gets so old and so soul-killing. There is stuff I really care about. I’m not interested in tearing it down as much as describing it.”

Could this mean that the quick-shot, snarky remark or sarcastic rejoinder is not the be-all and end-all of Web media? I hope so. Not that sites like TMZ or The Superficial and Gawker aren’t fun — but everything can’t be them. In case you’re interested, there’s more coverage of the Gawker situation in the New York Times, including a nice roundup here.

At Portfolio magazine, media writer Jacob Bercovici says Gawker is a “monster” that has turned on Denton and is eating him, and Vimeo founder Jakob Lodwick has some helpful tips for Nick Denton. For his part, Jason Calacanis compares Denton to Grendel and Gollum (why don’t you just say what you really think, Jason?).

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