Gawker Media has fired at least one journalist because her work did not generate enough clicks for the company. Three months after it decided to pay its writers based on pageviews, rather than a flat fee or salary, Gawker is starting to see the fallout from its policy, according to a story posted today on the Guardian's website.
Two weeks ago, Gawker blogger Maggie Shnayerson got an e-mail from her boss, Nick Denton, telling her the bad news, according to the story. "Last month, you got about 400,000 pageviews; this month you're at 160,000," Denton wrote. "You should be doing some 670,000 views a month to justify your advance."
Can journalists survive on clicks alone? (Jan. 1, 2008)
Readers, too, have seen this as a decline in quality for the company's chain of websites, which now seem to value sexy, sensational news more than ever before. High-minded readers are leaving the Gawker sites, and therefore, the Gawker brand is changing, the Guardian story says. "Go low, people. Go really, really low," comments one former reader. At the end of the day, though, advertisers don't seem to mind, and the jury is still out on whether Denton is a palm reader for the media business.