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Yahoo to Run Stories from Gawker Blogs

Pushing further into the so-called “blogosphere,” Internet portal and online media company Yahoo has reportedly reached a distribution agreement with New York’s Gawker Media to distribute content from some of its high-profile blog properties alongside stories from mainstream, traditional news and information outlets.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but sources indicate the arrangement will initially include material from entertainment and celebrity-gossip blogs Gawker and Defamer, technology and gadget site Gizmodo, and political gossip and satire site Wonkette. The arrangement may also be extended to other selected Gawker Media properties.

Yahoo’s arrangement with Gawker follows the company’s announcement in October that it would begin displaying content from blogs and other online journals alongside traditional news stories. The move sparked controversy between Internet users who feel material presented as news and journalism should be vetted by news bureaus, editors, and a traditional journalistic process, and those who feel such practices are elitist or out-dated in the age of the Internet. Online journals and blogs have recently taken on media prominence, sparking several major news stories in the last few years and often calling attention to events and developments long before the same stories filter up to traditional media outlets. Similarly, blogs are often criticized for publishing inaccurate, incomplete, and blatantly biased information and rarely conforming to traditional journalistic standards of sourcing, editing, or language.

Yahoo’s deal with Gawker may push the boundaries of what content may be acceptable alongside mainstream news stories: many blogs in the Gawker Media stable not infrequently sport language, images, and topics which would be acceptable in mainstream media outlets, particularly those subject to regulation by the FCC. Yahoo has not commented on whether it plans to filter content from Gawker or other online journals, or provide tools for Yahoo users to do so.