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Posted by on Oct 17, 2009 in Media | 3 comments

Gawker’s Nick Denton: We Don’t Fact Check, We Aim For Truth Over Time. UPDATED: Gawker Bought the Exclusive on The Balloon Hoax Story

On Thursday Gawker’s Nick Denton was on a Magazine Publishers of America Magazine Innovation Summit panel titled “The Decline and Rise of Magazine Journalism.” The moderator, Slate’s Jacob Weisberg, asked how Denton monitors and fact-checks the content on Gawker sites:

“We don’t,” Mr. Denton replied flatly. “We aim to get the truth over time. The verification model is post-publication rather than pre-publication. Our readers correct us and we apologize and we change it. We don’t have time to check it all before.”

Towards the end of the panel, Mr. Weisberg returned to {New Yorker articles editor Susan] Morrison: “How does The New Yorker stay on top of fact checking and accuracy as they try to enter into the up-to-the-minute online sphere?” he asked

“We try to edit every single thing that goes on the Web site,” said Ms. Morrison.

Mr. Denton was shocked. “Even the Twitter posts!?”

“We have Twitter posts?,” said Ms. Morrison. “I didn’t even know we were doing Twitter posts. Who tweets?”

From The Wrap we learn that Denton shamelessly rips off magazines:

Gawker Media’s chief, argued that print magazines already have a sensibility that works online, but haven’t figured out how to translate it the way sites like his have.

“At meetings at Gawker, we quite shamelessly rip off things that magazines do well,” Denton said. “We don’t sit around dissecting the New York Times.”

When exploring ideas for a new site launch, Denton added, “I go to the newsstand and look at magazines.”

He said that the editorial process Gawker and other blogs are fond of – put up a headline first, fill out the story later – is “very alien” to people who work at magazines.

“We aim to be accurate over the long term,” Denton said. “We stumble toward the truth, much like the British (tabloid) press.”

Turning to New Yorker articles editor Susan Morrison, chairman Jacob Weisberg said that unlike Gawker, which is now faced with the challenge of not morphing into the sort of journalism it often likes to ridicule, “The New Yorker model” long-form, heavily vetted, smoothed-out copy, “doesn’t work on the web.”

RELATED STORY OF THE MOMENT: Gawker bought the exclusive rights to the Balloon Hoax Story…