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Gawker Crowdsources Journalism

BY RELEVANT CURRENT / ISSUE 65 August 23, 2013

When staff members at Gawker were offered video proof of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine with drug dealers for $200,000, they saw it as an opportunity to break a major news story and utilize crowdfunding technology. Gawker asked its audience to contribute to their self-described “Crackstarter campaign,” and they soon raised the cash to obtain the tape.

Unfortunately for Gawker, people who have secret tapes of powerful political leaders doing unsavory things aren’t the types to enjoy international media attention. After being told the tape was no longer available, Gawker decided to donate the money they raised to a Canadian charity that helps individuals struggling with addiction.