You never really miss something until it's gone. Because usually, and quite mistakenly, we all have a tendency to believe that those things we care about, or at least like, or have gotten familiar with will be around until we come back to it. It's that sinking feeling when you get a taste for something, then ride over to get it only to find that the place that served that certain something is now a Starbucks. Unless you wanted Starbucks, in which case I'm ashamed for you.
|Gawker. Good Media. Gone too soon.|
I used to read Gawker a lot. It was kind of what I like to call Buddy Media, and by that I mean that it's selection seemed more like things a guy you actually know would chose than an actual media outlet. A smart guy, but a guy you know, like from school or the bar. Sometimes it was insightful and meaningful stories that made you think. Other times it was dumb or silly reporting that made you wonder if people actually got paid for that crap. But, it was always interesting. And now, out of spite, it's gone.
Online media has always been an odd play for real news. Professional organizations like CBS and NBC seemingly just edited their regular news stories down and stuck them on the web. Other professional groups, like Slate, takes serious questions and cuts them down into a mix of short articles, bite sized chunks and blurbs. So how to differentiate yourself? That would have been Gawker, whose slightly opinionated occasionally off kilter and sometimes oddly refreshing and informative news articles kept you coming back. Important journalism, with things you didn't even know you needed to know, mixed with stories you knew you didn't need to know, but read anyway. Then they branched out, covering sports, video games, women's issues and more. It was good journalism, but a few times a week you knew they'd just posted something and left the office early, maybe for margaritas.
Now, I understand most of it survived. Jezebel, Kokatu, Deadspin and the others will live on. But the linchpin, the hub, Gawker itself, is too toxic a brand to be viable. And so the digital fourth estate loses its class clown, leaving behind a void of much needed slightly reckless reporting that keeps the news fresh and from appearing to be what most of it is now....PR work. Tough shoes to fill.
Hey, I'll give'em five dollars for the address. Let those who will be offended sue me.
Barkeep, first article, how to get free drinks at the bar. What? What did I say? I have cash!