For a while, infamous Manhattan media gossip site Gawker was synonymous with Gawker Stalker: A trademark real-time map of bitchy celebrity sightings reported to the site. Now, it’s been relegated to a sad little tag, as they’ve grown up to doing the stalking and sourcing the stalkers in-house themselves!
Their only real in-house stalking effort previous to this was reporter John Cook going after Bill O’Reilly’s creepy minion, Jesse Waters. Well, Cook’s since left for Yahoo News, but the Stalky Spirit persists! And they’re hiring!
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Pamela Noel
Date: Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 11:43 AM
Subject: Gawker Seeks Freelance Reporter/Photog for California Assignment
To: Journalism Undergrad Announcements
NYC-based Gawker Media is looking for a bright, clever freelance reporter for an assignment in the Palm Desert area. This job will include some real, on-the-ground reporting experience and an opportunity to help break a big story for Hollywood and entertainment industry insiders.
We’re looking for someone who’s fearless, creative, and has a penchant for tough reporting. This is NOT a writing gig, but we need someone who is eager to spend a day tracking people down, analyzing clues, and bunkering down for an old-fashioned stakeout. Candidates with photography and previous reporting experience are preferred.
Gawker will pay a day rate and reimburse for any expenses. To apply, please contact Sergio Hernandez at email@example.com.
Hm. Let’s see. Who could this be?
Well, by process-of-elimination, you think:
If you think I’m going somewhere with this, you’re right! Deadline Hollywood Daily blogger Nikki Finke fits the profile perfectly. She’s got a show coming up, she’s constantly eluded Gawker’s bounty for a photograph of her, and most importantly, her website, Deadline Hollywood, has a pretty solid deathgrip on breaking Hollywood news, one inversely proportional to just how much is known about her (a New Yorker profile of her ended up the subject of a Finke smackdown after she ran solid press game on the magazine and writer of the piece once it was published).
Then again, there’s the chance that it’s not at all about Finke, but Gawker (and Gawker Media) has been planning out their stories and “theme” arcs more than ever lately! And they’re not doing a very good job at keeping it a secret, whether you’re looking at their Advertising Site “Calendar” or just overhearing some good “goss” from a chronically leaky operation! Hee. [Full Disclosure: I used to work there, and along with everyone else who writes media who used to work there, hears basically everything from everyone.] But Gawker Media’s editorial mantra is that of a company where no secrets are really too sacred, so, you know: makes sense. And if indeed their prey to come is Finke, well, maybe the chase will be more fun now. Though if that is the case, damn: You’d think they’d aim a little higher. Here’s their chance to deliver a Scientology Deathblow! This thing, it’s got high expectations on it, at least from me. And I, for one, am excited to see what they come up with.