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Nolan does journalism his way

Sep 28, 2013
by Tom Iacuzio, '06

As a senior writer at news and gossip blog Gawker, Hamilton Nolan has a keyboard and the ability to write, well, pretty much anything he wants.

The 2003 Flagler College graduate joined Gawker Media, which also runs blogs such as Defamer and Deadspin, in 2008 and is the blog’s longest tenured writer.

Nolan got his start in media while still at Flagler, writing for Folio Weekly, the Jacksonville alternative magazine. After graduating, Nolan worked for a short time as a staff writer for Folio until moving to New York to work at PR Week until leaving for Gawker in 2008.

“I got into journalism because, before that I was a philosophy major, and I have no other marketable skills except for writing and making pizza,” said Nolan. “I chose Gawker because they offered me a job, and I like the freedom here.”

Nolan says an average day for him consists of waking up, reading a lot of news, deciding what he wants to write that day and then writing until the day is over. That style has gotten the writer interviewed and mentioned on everything from media blog Romenesko to the Rush Limbaugh Show.

For Nolan, the freedom of Gawker lies not just in what he writes about, but also how he writes it.

“There are a lot of conventions that have developed in ‘established’ journalism over the years that serve to protect journalists and news outlets and source, but don’t serve the reader. We try to dispense with those as much as possible,” said Nolan. “We have the freedom to say what we think without worrying that we’ll lose access to powerful sources, because we don’t depend on access. So we tend to be able to be more honest.”

And though his career has taken him from St. Augustine to New York City, Nolan doesn’t forget those who encouraged him along the way.

“I had some very good professors at Flagler who encouraged me a lot in my writing, and I’m grateful to those professors,” he said.

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