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Posts Tagged ‘Jezebel’

Jezebel Offers $10K for Unretouched Lena Dunham Photos to Prove… Something

As you know, Lena Dunham graced the cover of the latest Vogue. The photos, taken by Annie Leibowitz, were undoubtedly photoshopped a bit. That’s nothing new; Vogue retouches photos. So does pretty much every other magazine. Yet Jezebel wants to prove something about Vogue and photoshopping by offering $10,000 to anyone who will send the site the unretouched Dunham photos.

Here is Jezebel’s explanation for the cash offering:

This is about Vogue, and what Vogue decides to do with a specific woman who has very publicly stated that she’s fine just the way she is, and the world needs to get on board with that. Just how resistant is Vogue to that idea? Unaltered images will tell.

Except this isn’t about Vogue. It’s about Jezebel. It’s about using a bullshit cause to cover up an extremely juvenile idea. The fake cause: “Showing the public what Vogue really does!” The real idea: “Hey, we’d get a ton of hits if we post unaltered pics of Dunham!”

Everyone knows Dunham was retouched. So what. And what, exactly, does publishing the unretouched versions prove? Nothing! Aside from the fact that Jezebel will go to any lengths for page views. Even bashing a woman who seems to stand for the exact values the site acts like it supports.

Jezebel News Editor Deletes, Apologizes for Tasteless Paul Walker Tweet

A torrent of angry Twitter reaction is pouring in today in the direction of Erin Gloria Ryan after the Jezebel news editor last night tweeted and then deleted a tasteless reference to the tragic death of Fast and Furious star Paul Walker.

Ryan’s tweet, which made reference to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, has unleashed outrage from right-leaning voters and others, for turning the death of the 40-year-old actor into a very offensive political jab. A few, like Washington Examiner editor Justin Green, are commending Ryan for her subsequent Twitter apologies:

JustinGreenTweet

But a great many more are calling for Ryan’s head, like this Wisconsin resident:

AngelaWalkerTweet

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Karla Zabludovsky Departs NYT for Newsweek

After linking this afternoon on Twitter to Capital New York reporter Joe Pompeo‘s summary of the first round of staff hires at the “new” Newsweek, here’s how New York Times Mexico City-based reporter Karla Zabludovsky further framed it:

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Zabludovsky is the magazine’s new Latin America correspondent. According to Pompeo, she is just one of several impressive hires. Also enlisted to help revive the brand-name newsweekly are Alexander Nazaryan, coming over from The Atlantic Wire to cover culture and science, and two more:

Newsweek‘s new international editor, Capital has learned, is Nicholas Wapshott, a veteran British journalist who’s held top positions at The Times of London in addition to a role as a contributing columnist at Reuters.

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BACKLASH: Politically Correct Female Journos Gang Up on PTSD Essayist

San Francisco-based journalist Mac McClelland recently wrote a devastatingly honest essay for Good about the rape-related post-traumatic stress disorder she suffered after working in Haiti. The story was not about Haiti, it was about how the author dealt with the psychological trauma of sexual violence. But that didn’t stop a group of 36 female journalists and researchers attacking McClelland in an open letter.

Here’s how they use PC bullshit to criticize a woman for speaking about her personal experience with sexual harassment and violence:

In writing about a country filled with guns, “ugly chaos” and “gang-raping monsters who prowl the flimsy encampments,” she paints Haiti as a heart-of-darkness dystopia, which serves only to highlight her own personal bravery for having gone there in the first place. She makes use of stereotypes about Haiti that would be better left in an earlier century: the savage men consumed by their own lust, the omnipresent violence and chaos, the danger encoded in a black republic’s DNA.

Um, no. McClelland gave an honest account of her personal experience. She never once suggested sexual violence was a problem limited to Haiti, or perpetrated primarily by black men. Did these people even read the essay? Can you say “projection”?

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Vogue Hires Obama’s Web Consultants

vogueblue.jpg“Can we take a strategy to build a political candidate and apply it to a magazine like Vogue?” posited Tom Florio, publishing director for the fashion title and other Condé Nast pubs, in today’s Wall Street Journal. (Upate: Jezebel, always on the ball, actually broke the story a week earlier than the WSJ.

The strategy in question would be the one designed by Blue State Digital, an online consulting agency that implemented a “relationship ladder” schema for their work with Barack Obama‘s presidential campaign, and is now working with Vogue to identify new ways for the magazine to interact with its audience.

While it might seem like a strange leap to go from political canvasing to couture outreach, Blue State is confident what worked for Obama can work for Anna Wintour.

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GawkerTV Launches With Intern Workforce, Optimistic About Ad Sales

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Today’s launch of Gawker.TV is the product of Richard Blakeley‘s three years as Nick Denton‘s video editor. Now the This Is Why You’re Fat co-author is manning his own satellite site, which will be posting videos throughout the day, with the help of the 16 or so interns currently working under Blakeley.

The fact that so much (unpaid) manpower is going into this spin-off site isn’t exactly a surprise. Gawker‘s largest-generating posts have almost always been candid videos: Tom Cruise ranting about Scientology, the Eric Dane/Rebecca Gayheart/Kari Ann Peniche sex tape, and the video shot by Blakeley of Heath Ledger’s body being wheeled out of the apartment he was staying in Soho when he died in 2008.

Denton has also admitted that it will be easier to sell ads on a site that is not as specifically themed as some of his other off-shoots like Jezebel (for women) or Fleshbot (Gawker’s sex Web site). Sales of Gawker’s other sites — Wonkette, Idolator, and Gridskipper — were similarly explained to be the result of poor ad revenue.

Gawker.TV currently has a tip box at the top of the site for users to submit videos. We have yet to hear back from Gawker Media if the tip box will automatically filter into the new open forums, as they do on Gawker’s main site.

See More: Gawker.TV

At Gawker, Traffic Graphs Only Tell Part Of The Story

Yesterday, Gawker‘s Nick Denton boasted about the tremendous revenue growth his company had experienced during the first half of the year, despite the recession.

Denton also published some graphs showing weekly traffic at his company’s sites since May 2007. All of them seem to be trending up or flat throughout 2009, except for auto site Jalopnik, which peaked early in the year and has been dropping off ever since.

Denton attributed the fall off to the Detroit Auto Show. “It produces a huge spike at the start of the year. (And a dip, afterwards.)” he told us via email. “It’s like an election distorts the numbers for political sites.”

He also sent us this helpful chart, which shows that Jalopnik’s traffic has actually almost doubled over the last year, although it missed its target for June by 10 percent.

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Looks like there is lots to celebrate at Gawker these days. And, word on the street is they’re hiring, after just announcing the addition of former LA Times Web Editor Richard Rushfield as West Coast editor for Gawker’s flagship site. If you’re job hunting right now, Nick Denton might be good person to introduce yourself to.

Update: Jalopnik editor Ray Wert tells us they’ve just hired “top-notch writing talent” John Krewson, a founding writer at The Onion, as deputy editor for the auto blog.

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GalleyCat: New York Times columnist and author Thomas Friedman has returned a $75,000 speaker’s fee.

WebNewser: Slate’s new online women’s magazine, Double X, published a critique of Gawker’s lady blog, Jezebel, on its first day.

Silicon Alley Insider: Washington State may have approved a tax cut for newspapers, but here’s 10 reasons why bailouts like that are a bad idea.

Folio: Magazine publisher R.R. Donnelly offers to buy bankrupt rival Quebecor World for $1.3 billion.

paidContent: A bankruptcy court has approved $13 million in bonuses for Tribune Co. employees, but has denied $2 million in severance that was sought for 60 employees. Also, the IRS is investigating the company’s employee stock ownership plan.

Gawker to Become a Boys’ Club?

mad-men-amc-cast-photo.jpgNot to beat this to death, but it has yet to be noted that with the departure of Sheila McClear from Gawker the site suddenly finds itself without a female contributor for the first time since Choire Sicha took the reins from Elizabeth Spiers back in 2003. Of course, as more than one person has pointed out to us, that is not necessarily a fair measure of things as they stand now since at that time Gawker was only penned by one writer. Meaning that today is the first time since the site incorporated multiple editors in 2005 that not one of them are women. It feels strange.

No one at Gawker responded to us on this, but one wonders whether they will try to fill the gap by either hiring another woman — perhaps to do more newsy reporting — or merely incorporate more of Jezebel‘s posts onto their page to achieve a similar effect.

Does HuffPo Like Its Male Bloggers Better?

near0gg1_huff.jpgArianna Huffington apparently prefers men. That’s the conclusion anyway of a study done for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting by former HuffPoer Jessica Wakeman. Wakeman tracked the 13 featured blog posts on Huffington Post’s homepage (full disclosure: we once worked there) twice daily for for nine weeks and coded them by gender. Per the report: “During the study period (7/7/08 — 9/5/08), only 255 of 1,125 bylines — 23 percent — belonged to women.”

The study found at least one female byline on the home page at all times. [However!] Of the 89 times bylines were checked during the study, not once did the number of women’s bylines equal those belonging to men. Only eight times did women account for more than a third of all bylines. And Arianna Huffington, appearing 57 times, accounted for more than a fifth of all women’s bylines; 45 of those occupied the most visible top post.

So, these numbers — Wakeman points out they fall “perfectly in line with elite print media’s abysmal gender numbers” — possibly do not reflect so well on a woman who professes to be an ardent supporter of “fearless” strong women. That said, does the study reflect HuffPo as a whole?

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