Jezebel’s Moment Is A Letdown

0712jezebel Jezebels Moment Is A Letdown“This is Jezebel’s moment,” Nick Denton says at the end of The New York Times piece about Gawker’s women’s blog in today’s Business section.

The piece is flatly expository. “Who exactly is Jezebel?” the reporter asks at the end of the first paragraph, before going on to talk about traffic, ad revenue and serial features on the site. “One popular feature, Midweek Madness, is a tongue-in-cheek dissection of the week’s glossy tabloids.” Do go on!

The Times reporter Jennifer Mascia talks to Jessica Coen, the site’s executive editor, and recently departed fouding editor Anna Holmes. But where is discussion of how the blog will change after Ms. Holmes? Where is talk of new undertakings by Ms. Coen?

“I wanted Jezebel to be welcoming,” Ms. Holmes told The Times in a 2008 piece about the site and its quandary over how to handle nasty commenters. Is Jezebel the same site now?

Ms. Mascia shows glancing awareness of other mini-controversies surrounding the site, mentioning the back-and-forth with The Daily Show and grabbing a nugget from Emily Gould’s highly critical article on Slate earlier this month. But Ms. Mascia adds nothing. It’s very much a “she said, she said,” which we don’t really need The Times for.

After paraphrasing Ms. Gould’s point, the piece continues:

But Ms. Coen says that Jezebel’s audience is so loyal because its readers are not condescended to, but leveled with. “It’s great to see such a devoted audience,” she said. “You see that your work matters to people.”

It’s as simple as that? The piece could have also used some real reporting around Jezebel’s allegations against The Daily Show, but the reporter has nothing more to offer on that score. Or any score.