Bias Rating: LEFT
Factual Reporting: MIXED
Press Freedom Rating: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Website
Traffic/Popularity: Medium Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: MEDIUM CREDIBILITY
Launched in 2002, Gawker is an American website covering celebrities and the media industry. Gawker was shut down in 2016 after filing bankruptcy due to a lawsuit filed by Hulk Hogan for publishing a sex tape featuring Hulk Hogan, which led Hogan to sue the company for invasion of privacy. Hogan was awarded 140 million dollars, putting an end to Gawker.
Funded by / Ownership
Gawker is held by the Bustle Digital Group, owned by Bryan Goldberg. According to their about page, “Bustle Digital Group is the largest premium publisher reaching millennial women.” Every month, nearly 100 million readers turn to Bustle Digital Group publications — Romper, Elite Daily, The Zoe Report, and Bustle — for impactful conversation around the interests and issues engaging women today.” According to the Wall Street Journal, Bustle has received 50.5 million dollars from a variety of companies. Advertising and sponsored content generate revenue.
Analysis / Bias
Gawker publishes news stories in these categories: politics, celebrity, culture, media, money, tech, Chrissy Teigen, and gossip. The website combines original reporting along with republished articles from other Bustle properties. Articles and headlines frequently feature emotionally sensationalized headlines such as this LORI LIGHTFOOT: I HAVE THE BIGGEST DICK IN CHICAGO. When it comes to sourcing information, they typically use credible sources such as the New York Times and local media outlets, but sometimes other sensationalized sources like the New York Post.
The previous incarnation of Gawker was known for outing celebrities and sharing damaging gossip that many times proved to be true. This was also their downfall as they outed a billionaire (Peter Thiel), who helped fund Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit, resulting in Gawker’s bankruptcy. The new Gawker covers the same topics and offers outrageous stories; however, it is clear they are more restrained and shying away from controversies and lawsuits.
Editorially, Gawker reports negatively on conservatives such as this TUCKER CARLSON MAKING THIS FACE. A quote from the article reads, “Fox News personality and Putinista Tucker Carlson is one of them.” In another article, they again criticize conservatives CPAC WAS THE WORST STAND-UP SHOW I’VE EVER BEEN TO. They also take shots at Joe Biden, but they generally humor him vs. harsh criticism such as this BIDEN GO VROOM.
Although Gawker’s content is sensationalized, they have not failed a fact check since relaunching in 2021; however, a failed fact check is still available in their archives (see below). For this reason, we will not rate them Questionable at this time but rate them left-biased and Mixed for factual reporting.
Failed Fact Checks
Overall, we rate Gawker Left Biased based on editorial positions and story selection that favors the left. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to a previous false claim and sensationalized content that occasionally uses poor sources. (D. Van Zandt 03/24/2022)
Last Updated on March 24, 2022 by Media Bias Fact Check
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