Monday, 21 March 2016
Gawker's loss bring journalism into the money-making arena.
'Gawker' the American blog founded in 2002 by Nick Denton (ex Financial Times) focused on media and celebrity, has lost its legal battle against Hulk Hogan for 115 million usd in damages. More damages are to come and it's likely that Gawker will appeal.
The blog has always been controversial about the removal of videos/pics/emails (Tom Cruise, Sarah Palin), albeit with circa 23 million visits a month and a fairly furious rate of staff turnovers as Editors in Chief. We count 14 in about 12 years.
It took the jury a mere 3 hours to find in Hogan's favour where Gawker had refused to take down a Hogan sex tape (published 2012) thereby, violating Hogan's privacy.
You can find all the Court documents here (cut + paste); http://www.2dca.org/Clerk/2D15-5044/15-5044.shtml
The fundamental is that it's probably going to be difficult for Gawker to find this amount of money. The Guardian says "it could destroy the site forever".
What needs to be understood is that Media are private businesses and whilst they might hide in the cloak of 'legitimate public interest', publishing is about generating readers and generating readers is about generating advertising and subscriptions. The more controversial it is, the more readers.
So this is not about 'journalism' per se but rather, money. Journalism is about money anyway. And they lost.
TUESDAY UPDATE - And he's just been awarded another 25m usd on top of the 115m usd already.