This evening, Dayna Evans, a former Gawker writer, published an essay at Matter arguing that Gawker Media has “failed its female employees.” This piece was intended—by Evans, by former Gawker editor Leah Beckmann, and by me—to run on Gawker.com. Late last week, Gawker Media executive editor John Cook decided to kill it, over my objection. I think he made the wrong decision, and he knows that I think that, but as executive editor, John has ultimate authority over what runs, and what doesn’t, on all Gawker Media sites. Gawker Media recently suffered through a catastrophic internal (or partly internal) battle over the authority of its senior editorial staff, and I didn’t wish to cause another one on my first full week on the job.
But the facts of where the story came to run are less relevant than the particulars of the story itself. I think it’s an important one, and well worth reading for anyone who cares about the media industry itself, not just Gawker. Some of the voices in it belong to people I’ve admired (and been proud to call my friends) for years. Others are people currently on the staff of the site I’ve recently inherited. I need to do right by them, and I promise that I will do everything in my power to make sure that Gawker is an equitable and fair workplace.
Gawker has always been a home, and even an incubator, for unique, brilliant, one-of-a-kind female voices, ever since founding editor Elizabeth Spiers first hit publish. My job—and John’s job, and Nick’s job, and Heather’s job—is not just to make sure that it remains so, but also that Gawker becomes a place where those brilliant writers and editors are able to grow, advance, and thrive.
Words mean less than actions. I hope that I can contribute to the creation of a Gawker Media that never has to have a piece like this written about it again.