Nick Denton: "A few cases recently where we've thought *way* too much before publishing."

HASH THOSE TAGS BOYSToday is that awesome panel at this magazine media thingy, at which Awl pals Nick Denton and Simon Dumenco will tell you what to do with your magazine. It is a great time to do this for two reasons: one of which is that, overnight, Gawker just digested and extruded Twitter in some weird hashtaggy way. And also, this Gawker memo from the other day! Subject line: “We’re not running a newspaper.”

——— Forwarded message ———-
From: Nick Denton
Date: Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 6:33 PM
Subject: We’re not running a newspaper

A few cases recently where we’ve thought *way* too much before publishing. Even when we’ve had exclusive information or even documentary evidence.

There’s always a good argument for waiting. Let’s check to see whether the associated claim is true; oh, the source might be exposed.

But we should publish anyway, making clear what we know to be true and what remains up in the air. Or even just publish a headline or quicklink and fill the story in later. We can always update. We can always write a second post when we’ve established more of the facts.

We’ve brought in some of the better traditions of newspapers. We’re breaking more stories than we ever have. That’s awesome.

But there’s no way we’re going to slow our publishing schedule to that of a ponderous newspaper-style organization — where everything has to go through layers of edit and approval and checking and legal. If we did that, we’d be neither as authoritative as a newspaper nor as nimble as the smaller blogs that *do* indeed publish as soon as they get something.

At some media organizations you might get rapped for running a premature story. At Gawker Media, you’ll lose way more points for being scooped on a story you had in your hands.

Nick