Is Gawker Really Killing Journalism?

As consumers embrace wireless Internet and the connected life it offers, newspapers aren’t sitting still. The Boston Globe, The New York Times and The Washington Post have struck deals with Amazon to distribute their content on the Kindle in areas of the country where a home subscription isn’t possible. All three papers have great mobile sites. The idea is to get the content where they readers are.

Sounds pretty simple, right?

Well it isn’t, especially from the perspective of reporters at the nation’s daily newspapers. In Sunday’s Washington Post, staff writer Ian Shapira had an interesting account of how Hamilton Nolan, a writer from, in the words of Shapira’s editor, “stole” his story describing a Reston, Va.-based consultant who coaches businesspeople on how to deal with generational differences in the workplace.

The headline for Shapira’s column said it all: “The Death of Journalism (Gawker Edition)”

I’ve read both Shapira’s article on the consultant and Nolan’s Gawker piece and I can understand where Shapira’s coming from. He’s the one who put the time into reporting the story and writing the article, not Nolan. Sharpira is right to be upset that Nolan didn’t give him more credit. (On Gawker’s Website there is a small mention of the Post at the bottom of story, but that’s it.)

But is Gawker’s practice killing journalism? Or is journalism killing itself by pretending a story about a business consultant charging people $25 for a seminar on how to deal with unmotivated younger workers is really news? Or are there larger problems facing journalism?

What do you think?


2 responses to “Is Gawker Really Killing Journalism?

  1. While there’s no question that Gawker should have attributed the story up front, the bigger problem is #3 (this isn’t news). Or rather, that the newspapers are spending so much time (money) on a non-news story. No wonder they’re going broke.

    I read the article yesterday, and I couldn’t get past the huge amount of time that Shapira had spent to write this column. If it were an investigative piece, I’d understand months of work. But this many hours on a fluff piece?

  2. Pingback: The Decoupling of Advertising From News « Dilbert is Funny for a Reason

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