And now for a message from Nick Denton, the Founder and Publisher of Gawker Media.
We've always prided ourselves on saving young talent from the spirit-dulling indoctrination of journalism schools and genteel media companies — and the conventional thinking, cosiness with sources and addiction to junkets that often go with them.
This personnel policy has paid off, never more dramatically than this week. Jack Dickey — one of the Deadspin reporters who exposed the hoax of Manti Teo's dead girlfriend — is a senior at Columbia.
The Deadspin exclusive shows what can be done by young journalists who don't know better. There is another reason for this reminder. Newspapers and magazines — their ranks clogged by veterans with nowhere else to go — are not hiring. We are recruiting — and we value raw talent and attitude over the long resume — in not only Editorial but also our Technology, Advertising, and Operations teams.
Aside from the usual job openings, Gawker Media's new Fellows program offers paid work experience for potential hires, and a path towards a full-time job with benefits.
Right now there are openings for Editorial Fellows at Gawker itself and at Gizmodo (as well as a number of other positions — especially in our growing Commerce group). The advertising department has just hired four apprentices. (The number two in Sales — James Del — joined us at the age of 20 out of NYU.)
And the full Kinja publishing system, rolling out over the next three months, will create a farm system for the main Gawker teams. By setting up personal blogs under Deadspin, Gawker and other sites, writers, photographers and others will be able to audition for potential staff jobs. (We have a history of hiring writers, such as Richard Lawson and Ryan Tate, after they impressed us with their contributions on our sites.)
A Gawker job isn't for everybody. You have to withstand criticism — from celebrities, gun nuts, the politically correct, aggrieved subjects and pompous journalists — with good humor. You need a certain amount of principled prickishness, as former TV critic Richard Lawson argues here. And — earnestness warning — the truth will set you free. You should believe that.
But if you've got the personality, a Gawker job can accelerate a career. I'll leave you with our best advertisements, the career paths of some of our current and former colleagues.
- 22-year-old Dickey's new boss, incoming Deadspin managing editor Emma Carmichael, started interning at the sports site three months out of college.
- Elizabeth Spiers, the first blogger on Gawker, became the youngest editor of the New York Observer.
- Erin Pettigrew started as a corporate intern five months out of Yale. After several years running sales marketing and operations, she is now building our new Commerce team from the ground up.
- Jezebel's editor Jessica Coen was lured to Gawker Media as she was preparing to start Columbia Journalism School.
- Whitson Gordon, Lifehacker's new Editor-in-Chief, started as an intern at Lifehacker in October, 2009 while a Senior at University of Michigan.
- Alex Pareene was 19 when he dropped out of NYU to write for Gawker. He's now one of the most influential columnists at Salon.
- Sam Biddle started as an intern two months after graduating from Hopkins and was rapidly promoted to Editorial Assistant and is now a Senior Staff Writer at Gizmodo.
- And many more...