Fri, 12/19/2014 - 19:26

Posted by Tamara Baluja on May 17, 2013

Last night, Gawker posted a video for sale allegedly starring Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. The video became the subject of a frenzied discussion on Twitter, with many cautioning about libel laws. And then started the hilarious cat fight on Twitter about who got the "exclusive."

Gawker appears to have forced the Toronto Star into publishing the story on the video that they had been sitting on for almost two weeks. Reporters Kevin Donovan and Robyn Doolittle apparently saw the alleged video on May 3, but were doing due diligence, one can suppose.

About an hour and half later, the Star "took a cagey approach that linked to Gawker — along with the promise of “much more to come,” canada.com reported. And editor-in-chief Michael Cooke tweeted an "exclusive" to come. (Picture courtesy of canada.com)

Here is the Toronto Star's front page with the "exclusive" label from the morning after: 

Needless to say, Gawker's managing editor Tom Scocca and many other casual readers were not impressed by the Star's claim to an exclusive. And then there were those who felt Gawker's rant was unnecessary. 

The "exclusive" gaffe made the Star's editor-in-chief a trending topic in Canada:

And here's how reporter Robyn Doolittle responded:

Nitpicking aside, it's clear that Gawker broke this story. As canada.com reports:" In the end, the New York outlet was able to gloat that it technically published a blockbuster story about Mayor Rob Ford before the local newspaper that has dedicated itself most to following his trail."

J-Source and ProjetJ are publications of the Canadian Journalism Project, a venture among post-secondary journalism schools and programs across Canada, led by Ryerson University, Université Laval and Carleton University and supported by a group of donors.