IT had all the elements for the perfect tabloid gossip item — a clash between star financial journalists, big egos and a surprise ouster that had Wall Street buzzing: Henry Blodget, the well-known disgraced-analyst-turned-financial-pundit and co-founder of the much-read blog, The Business Insider, stunned the financial community last week by firing John Carney, the star managing editor of the site’s Clusterstock blog, reportedly because of philosophical differences over the site’s coverage.Check the link for the full list of industry-moving blogs.
The news, which was quickly picked up by the Reuters financial blogger Felix Salmon, who subsequently sparked an online spat of his own with Mr. Blodget, did not break in a gossip column like The New York Post’s Page Six or in the pages of The Wall Street Journal, which in a previous era might have owned this story. Rather, the scoop came from a 25-year-old Village Voice gossip blogger and University of Utah dropout named Foster Kamer.
Surfing the Web after business hours one evening, Mr. Kamer ran across speculation about Mr. Carney’s job status on a Twitter post by Gawker Media’s owner, Nick Denton. After 90 minutes of phone calls to sources within the financial journalism subculture, Mr. Kamer nailed down the item and posted it on the Voice site.
The lines between “reporter” and “blogger,” “gossip” and “news” have blurred almost beyond distinction. No longer is blogging something that marginalized editorial wannabes do from home, in a bathrobe, because they haven’t found a “real” job. Blogging now is a career path in its own right, offering visibility, influence and an actual paycheck. As more gossip action in a variety of fields moves online, young writers who might have hungrily chased an editorial assistant job at Condé Nast a few years ago now move to New York with the dream of making it as a blogger — either launching their own blog into the big time, à la Perez Hilton, or getting snapped up by a prominent blog network like Gawker Media or MediaBistro.
And although the better-known newspaper gossip columnists still churn along, among them Richard Johnson and Cindy Adams of The New York Post, and George Rush and Joanna Molloy of The New York Daily News, much of the action has moved online, with the up-and-coming players having little in common with legendary predecessors like Walter Winchell and Liz Smith. While Ms. Smith, 87 and still active, toiled in journalism for nearly 30 years before getting her own by-lined column (working first, among other things, as a typist, proofreader and radio producer), some of the newest notables in gossip are still in their 20s and only a few years removed from the days when they blogged from their college dorm rooms about fraternity hazing mishaps and the quality of the cafeteria food.
The following are profiles of nine emerging gossip bloggers, whose names came up in interviews with influential blog entrepreneurs, fellow bloggers and other journalists as potential future stars of the online world. The list, by no means exhaustive, represents a cross-section of New Yorkers covering varied beats — entertainment, fashion, real estate, finance —for a variety of prominent blog networks. Some, like Sara Polsky of Curbed and Lilit Marcus of The Gloss, are relatively new to the business, but recently installed in a position of prominence by Web star-makers like Lockhart Steele, who runs Curbed and Eater, or Elizabeth Spiers, a founder of Gawker in 2002 who has introduced a number of successful blogs since then. Others, like Fred Mwangaguhunga of MediaTakeOut.com, are popular niche players who are quickly crossing into the mainstream.
Friday, April 2, 2010
The piece covers gossip blogs, but the career model is fairly generalizable to the new media environment. At least two of the blogs cited are political blogs. At New York Times, "The Rising Stars of Gossip Blogs":