On the morning of October 25 in New York, a 21-year-old kid named Christopher Jusko was brutally attacked in the hallway of an East Village apartment building. He was stabbed in the neck and back, stumbled down two flights of stairs and onto the sidewalk, where he collapsed and died.
By that afternoon, Gawker had published a picture of Jusko’s bloody corpse lying dead on the sidewalk. The image wasn’t particularity newsworthy; no other news outlets reporting on the murder ran it. There was no original reporting and barely any accompanying text by the post’s author, Hamilton Nolan. But the image was graphic, sensationalist, and extremely offensive to the family of the deceased. They, along with many readers, complained for 5 days before Gawker editor Remy Stern finally relented and removed it from the site.
The obvious question is, why publish an image so gruesome and disturbing, and of questionable significance? The answer, of course, is page hits.