Executive editor Tommy Craggs and editor-in-chief Max Read of Gawker have announced that they’re resigning. The pair explained the reasons for their departure in emails to the staff posted on Gawker just now.
The turmoil at the website comes in the fallout of a hugely controversial piece last week that outed an executive at Conde Nast for allegedly seeking to hire a gay escort, who then attempted to blackmail him. The piece was almost universally reviled from all corners of the internet, left and right, high and low, and was later removed. Craggs and Read, and many other editors at the site, have strongly disagreed with management’s decision to remove the post, which they say is a breach of the separation between business and editorial that is supposed to be the bedrock of journalistic concerns.
As Read explained, in part, in his email to the staff:
On Friday a post was deleted from Gawker over the strenuous objections of Tommy and myself, as well as the entire staff of executive editors. That this post was deleted at all is an absolute surrender of Gawker’s claim to “radical transparency”; that non-editorial business executives were given a vote in the decision to remove it is an unacceptable and unprecedented breach of the editorial firewall, and turns Gawker’s claim to be the world’s largest independent media company into, essentially, a joke.