17.5: “Inexperience Required”

January 20, 2013

Nick Denton, Founder of Gawker:

We’ve always prided ourselves on saving young talent from the spirit-dulling indoctrination of journalism schools and genteel media companies — and the conventional thinking, cosiness with sources and addiction to junkets that often go with them.

The Deadspin exclusive shows what can be done by young journalists who don’t know better. There is another reason for this reminder. Newspapers and magazines — their ranks clogged by veterans with nowhere else to go — are not hiring. We are recruiting — and we value raw talent and attitude over the long resume — in not only Editorial but also our Technology, Advertising, and Operations teams.

I have some friends who don’t particularly care for Gawker — I used to not be a fan myself — but this company impresses me more each day.

Some of the best writing that I’ve seen on the web has been by people who never went to journalism school and are complete self-starters. People who have an opinion that they feel should be heard, and who sign up for a blogging platform and just run with it. I’ve become friends with many of these individuals and have been able to see them grow, which has been fascinating.

So to make a potentially long story short, it’s encouraging to see at least one large media company understand that these kids are extremely valuable in the long term.

Wannabe writers are the future and “professionals” should be afraid of them as Gawker probably won’t be the last media company that looks for inexperience. And heck, I’d wager that the media companies that do value the resume over the raw talent won’t be around forever.

We live in a fascinating time.

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