Games Journalism! Wainwright/Florence/Tomb Raider/Eurogamer/Libel Threats/Doritos

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You can phrase it any way you want, shield it behind a ton of "I'm sure she isn't, but the doubt is there". It's still libellous. You're implying. I know that, he knows that. EG lawyers know that.

Anywhere else, someone who wrote a piece on that without having proof to back it up would have been asket to stick to the facts. In fact, many would argue that the article was amended because it's sloppy journalism.
But there wasn't implication. You can't just imagine it was implied because it suits your argument. No reasonable court would ever see that as implication.

All Rab did was take something she wrote on Twitter -- in the public domain -- and tell her what people may interpret that as. It wasn't shrouded behind weasel words or anything like that. It was in plain English:

"If you write that, people are going to think this."

This happens on a daily basis when people are writing about what others say, and pretty much boils down to him saying she should watch how she presents herself to her readers if she wants her readers to hold her in high regard. Nothing wrong with that.

And the sooner you realise this, the sooner you'll realise that you're wrong.
 
So help me understand: if someone jumps to conclusions and not_so_subtly implies in an article that I'm corrupt starting from something that is reprehensible but nothing else, HE is a great, brave journo.

If I ask him to prove it in court, his editor realizes both can be held responsible for defamation and amends my article, me and the editor are part of a corrupt elite that feeds on trinkets.

Going by this reasoning, in Italy we have this guy who's an hero of journalistic integrity in danger. GAF to the rescue!
He didn't imply shit, actually he said that he dosn't believe her love for Tomb Raider is because bribing money. But her "public" love for Tomb Raider new game and the fact she dosn't see anything wrong with the PS3 thing might arise some question on the people that might follow her or see her reviews.

Should a reviewer show his/her love for a game that even hasn't been released yet in public? What does that say about her integrity?. It was just simple observations backed up with real quotes.
 
But there wasn't implication. You can't just imagine it was implied because it suits your argument. No reasonable court would ever see that as implication.

All Rab did was take something she wrote on Twitter -- in the public domain -- and tell her what people may interpret that as. It wasn't shrouded behind weasel words or anything like that. It was in plain English:

"If you write that, people are going to think this."

The sooner you realise this, the sooner you realise you're wrong.
Correct.

commenting on a person’s public statements is absolutely allowable
 
To be fair, Italy has a culture that allowed the fruition of a belief that 6 scientists were guilty of manslaughter because they failed to predict the occurrence of an earthquake. Apparently all scientists have a direct line to Saint Peter or something.
FFS, don't you make me remember that. I'm still blushing after 24 hours. And while this happens, we're rushing a law to save the aforementioned hero of free journalism. God forbid we stop someone from having a banned ex spy from writing under nom de plume a libelous article implying a judge is an assassin and should be hanged for a sentence.

This discussion is healthy, and needs to happen.
Probably. And as someone who struggles to work in a way that allows me to look at myself in the mirror every day, I'm all for that. If he just wrote "this is reprehensible, and a code of conduct is definitely needed" I would have never cared.
 
Ah good, the thread title has been changed. I expect this to explode now...

Presuming you guys now know that Lauren didn't threaten legal action.. neither did her employer Intent Media...

@Michael_French: Some clarity: There was no legal action taken from Intent. We asked Eurogamer to remove cruel content about a staff member. They obliged.

http://www.twitter.com/Michael_French/status/261464206883311617

@BenParfitt: @BenKuchera @Michael_French Intent at no stage threatened legal action

http://www.twitter.com/BenParfitt/status/261465931593678848
It's become a bit "he said, she said" at this point. I'm interested to see where the truth lies, because Rab seems to think legal action was threatened.
 
I don't think he even says its fishy. He says that it could be construed as fishy by some, given that she tweets about Tomb Raider and the publisher is handing out PS3s to journos

the simple way to avoid such suspicion is to not take part in competitions where you win things from companies that you are reporting about.
Well, this is what he says,

One games journalist, Lauren Wainwright, tweeted: "Urm... Trion were giving away PS3s to journalists at the GMAs. Not sure why that's a bad thing?"

Now, a few tweets earlier, she also tweeted this: "Lara header, two TR pix in the gallery and a very subtle TR background. #obsessed @tombraider pic.twitter.com/VOWDSavZ"

And instantly I am suspicious. I am suspicious of this journalist's apparent love for Tomb Raider. I am asking myself whether she's in the pocket of the Tomb Raider PR team. I'm sure she isn't, but the doubt is there. After all, she sees nothing wrong with journalists promoting a game to win a PS3, right?
To me, that last paragraph is unnecessary. It leaves you open to retaliation, because you are saying "because she has done something unethical, why could she not also be doing something else unethical that is very different but I don't quite have proof of?" He seems to have been vindicated, but he didn't know that at the time.

What he was trying to do was be honest about how he felt. And to me the whole piece is an op-ed, it's not supposed to be investigative journalism. I just think if my op-ed was about bad journalism, I would rethink how I phrased that last paragraph.

As I said, I still don't think this could be called libel, but it could be enough for someone to scare a publication. Thing is, if I can see that paragraph as potentially problematic, someone at Eurogamer should have. I feel they should not have printed a piece they would not stand behind.

So many seem to be angling always for their future outside of journalism, inside one of these other games companies.

Just be a journalist or be a developer. If you want to work for a developer go do an art degree or a comp sci degree or a PR degree or whatever. If you want to be a journalist, do a journalism degree and be a journalist. So many writers seem to just fall into it and don't really seem sure of what they want, flirting with doors to other industry opportunities half the time. I get the impression some don't really want to be working on this side of the fence, and are willing to sell over their independence as a writer for the chance of a future on the publishing/dev side. Because they don't really care about being a serious/credible/impartial commentator.
This may be the real heart of the problem. Games journalism specifically has it's roots not in "actual" journalism if you will, but in fan publications written for other fans, most of which would trade it all in a heartbeat to actually be involved in a project.
 
Presuming you guys now know that Lauren didn't threaten legal action.. neither did her employer Intent Media...

@Michael_French: Some clarity: There was no legal action taken from Intent. We asked Eurogamer to remove cruel content about a staff member. They obliged.

http://www.twitter.com/Michael_French/status/261464206883311617

@BenParfitt: @BenKuchera @Michael_French Intent at no stage threatened legal action

http://www.twitter.com/BenParfitt/status/261465931593678848
Weird, anyone from EG in this thread that would like to clarify what is up?
 
As I said, I still don't think this could be called libel, but it could be enough for someone to scare a publication. Thing is, if I can see that paragraph as potentially problematic, someone at Eurogamer should have. I feel they should not have printed a piece they would not stand behind.
Yep, that's the point. It's not really a matter of being sued or not. Any EIC who spotted that kind of paragraph in an article would have it amended.
 
Brilliant.


I'd be interested to hear Dominik Diamond and Julian Rignall weigh in on this matter.
I was going to wonder if Stuart Campbell was asking questions, too... but then I noticed him tweeting away on the subject:

MichaelFrench said:
Some clarity: There was no legal action taken from Intent. We asked Eurogamer to remove cruel content about a staff member. They obliged.
RevStu said:
@Michael_French For extra clarity: are "true" and "cruel" synonyms now, or is it just a coincidence on this occasion?
 

twinturbo2

butthurt Heat fan
The image really, truly is hilarious, and very telling. Rab Florence wrote a solid article but nothing even necessarily had to be written about it. The image completely speaks for itself.

He looks like Howard from The Big Bang Theory in that pic.

I can hear Howard's mother now...
 
A Table Of Cowards
Posted on October 25, 2012 by RevStu

Below is the originally-published version of an article entitled "A Table Of Doritos", which appeared on Eurogamer this week, before being censored by the site following a complaint from Lauren Wainwright, who is mentioned in the piece. Lauren Wainwright is a freelance journalist whose entry on Journalisted includes Tomb Raider publisher Square-Enix in the roster of her "current" employers.

WoSland republishes the article here, without the permission or knowledge of either Eurogamer or the article's author Robert Florence, in the interests of news reporting. It is unedited save for the fact that we've highlighted in bold the passage that Eurogamer removed. If it's libellous, we invite Lauren Wainwright to sue us.
http://wosland.podgamer.com/a-table-of-cowards/
 
Presuming you guys now know that Lauren didn't threaten legal action.. neither did her employer Intent Media...

@Michael_French: Some clarity: There was no legal action taken from Intent. We asked Eurogamer to remove cruel content about a staff member. They obliged.

http://www.twitter.com/Michael_French/status/261464206883311617

@BenParfitt: @BenKuchera @Michael_French Intent at no stage threatened legal action

http://www.twitter.com/BenParfitt/status/261465931593678848
hmm that's interesting. i figured the first one about no legal action was clever wording*. why would eurogamer screw their writer like that without a legal threat, i'd expect rab to be more angry if not too.

*it could still be to be fair - did they offer to financially support her if she threatened legal action? - but this may be a stretch.
 
There's a lot wrong with game journalism, from the wide-eyed kids with no writing and editing skills who are exploited by unscrupulous editors/Web site managers who simply do not want to pay for content, to the professionals who take the tchtochke and openly proclaim how it's going right on Ebay.

I love to retell this story, because it's wholly indicative of everything involved in game journalism. I won't name any names to protect the guilty, but the guy in question is pretty high up on the food chain now...

So I'm at a game event, and Important Game Journalist A is badmouthing, openly badmouthing, the Web site I'm working for. I'm not sure why he's doing it, he seems a bit of an ass, but I have no desire to say anything. Until the guy remarks about how above-board he is, how he is a real journalist in a sea of hot-garbage hacks.

I asked him, "Who paid for your flight?

"Who paid for your hotel?

"Who paid for the travel to and from the airport, to the event, and to this restaurant?

"Who paid for that steak in front of you? And the drinks you've been pounding?"

Well, he hadn't paid for any of it. Not a cent. And he wouldn't pay a dime the entire time he was there.

"Woodward and/or Bernstein you are not, I told the guy."
 
Every journalist with any shred of integrity and care for their industry should at every opportunity call out, highlight and scorn their so called "peers" as the enthusiast fanboy shills they are. Be relentless and damning. It's the only way they'll go away. Bravo Rab.
 
Every journalist with any shred of integrity and care for their industry should at every opportunity call out, highlight and scorn their so called "peers" as the enthusiast fanboy shills they are. Be relentless and damning. It's the only way they'll go away. Bravo Rab.
The thing about it is, he never even directly accused her of anything, all he said was "that looks kind of suspect".

This lady's reactions to the article are her damning herself really, it makes his suspicions seem accurate.
 
It's been obvious to everyone that the vast majority of "games journalism" are either fanboys or shills. They all do the same crap, either out of some irrational, immature loyalty or to help their business along. There have been so many stories. The spill on Future's dodgy practices should have been the final nail in the coffin.

All that's left in terms of original content is the occasional good article from here or there. The only other thing that attracts me is new screens, videos and previews. And those are all repackaged PR fluff. I don't need people playing at being journalists for those. Reviews are worthless and no outlet is consistently on the money so general impressions from other users are fine.

Yeah, don't forget they're under the UK's batshit crazy libel laws.
There are no UK laws that prevent you from quoting something someone said in a public domain.
 
To be fair, Italy has a culture that allowed the fruition of a belief that 6 scientists were guilty of manslaughter because they failed to predict the occurrence of an earthquake. Apparently all scientists have a direct line to Saint Peter or something.
As much as they should never have been jailed, they were jailed for misrepresenting the risk, not of actually failing to predict a quake. There is a difference.
They were members of the national committee on major risks, so communicating and quantifying the risks was what they were being paid to do.
They were basically like the scientists in B-Movie disaster movies who don't believe the hero that the local volcano etc is gonna explode.
 
Every journalist with any shred of integrity and care for their industry should at every opportunity call out, highlight and scorn their so called "peers" as the enthusiast fanboy shills they are. Be relentless and damning. It's the only way they'll go away. Bravo Rab.
Agreed. What was specifically said about Ms Wainwright that caused her so much "distress"?
Great article.
 
Wow! 100% on Rab's side here, he's a top tier voice in gaming, a gaffer and a really successful comedian with a BBC show. He doesn't need to so this but he does.

Always trusted and agreed with him 100%.

I hope the pressure keeps up with this stuff an the Gaming communities outside the press who will be silent.
 
Every journalist with any shred of integrity and care for their industry should at every opportunity call out, highlight and scorn their so called "peers" as the enthusiast fanboy shills they are. Be relentless and damning. It's the only way they'll go away. Bravo Rab.
But he didn't. He even wrote that he wouldn't do so because "it's a horrible thing to do." in the original article:

I have a mental list of games journos who are the very worst of the bunch. The ones who are at every PR launch event, the ones who tweet about all the freebies they get. I am fascinated by them. I won't name them here, because it's a horrible thing to do, but I'm sure some of you will know who they are. I'm fascinated by these creatures because they are living one of the most strange existences - they are playing at being a thing that they don't understand. And if they don't understand it, how can they love it? And if they don't love it, why are they playing at being it?
 
Did he ever shit on Microsoft and made attacks in interviews? They were all pretty bad.
No clue, but he inflated review scores at the magazine he worked for, to a publisher in order to gain favor from them in the future which obviously worked.

I would say that these shills if they are attacking it is for their own good but stuff like inflating review scores is for the good of the company they are promoting. Remember also, that Shane was hand picked by the publisher to be flown around the world to a posh company retreat (his own words) and write about MGS4. EGM did not pick him to go but Konami did because of his previous shilling for PS3 exclusives.
 
"Woodward and/or Bernstein you are not, I told the guy."
Can we ever get the discussion to the point where a flight ticket, a taxi ride, a bed and a steak on the table aren't the discriminanting line between a hack and Woodward&Bernstein? Please?

Also, it wouldn't hurt to stop pretending that the whole media has to be Woodward&Bernstein to be honest. Even if the audience has changed, its core is still kids who don't care a fuck about investigative journalism, and would only like to know if FIFA is better than PES or not.

I'm totally content in running an effing buyer's guide each month, so on as I'm doing it in an decent way. There's a bunch of guys I know who love to pose as Woodward&Bernstein or Holy Knight of the "Videogames as Art&Culture" thing while being shady as hell behind the scenes.

As much as they should never have been jailed, they were jailed for misrepresenting the risk, not of actually failing to predict a quake. There is a difference.
They were members of the national committee on major risks, so communicating and quantifying the risks was what they were being paid to do.
They were basically like the scientists in B-Movie disaster movies who don't believe the hero that the local volcano etc is gonna explode.
I'm not really sure this is the case, altough there was an EXPLICIT order from the sleazo in charge at the time to "HIDE TRUTH". That being said, the message that's coming out of this is exactly that scientist can be held for not predicting an eartquake, but we have our hands tied when it comes to those who built half the country with sand and spit.
 
What about David Cook? Isn't he as guilty as this Wainwright character, since they work for the same company that threatened to sue?
He admitted his mistake, agreed it was shady and is giving a ps3 away

Hi guys, Dave Cook here, I have to clarify that at the time I didn't see the hashtag thing as an issue, but earlier on when it was called into question I saw what people were driving at.

I also earlier today pledged my PS3 to the Sick Kids Save Point charity, which means it's going to a children's hospital instead. I amn't keeping it.

https://twitter.com/davescook/status/261063958327357441

Thanks all,

Dave
which makes her tantrum look all the worse
 
Personally I have never thought of games-journalism as real journalism. I never thought much about it actually, but looking at this I have to agree that true journalism, one that doesn't pass PR statements as news would be extremely beneficial. I think I've never felt the need for true journalism because I have always been part of gaming-forums where stories are discussed and informed people have exclusive information. In fact I have visited Gaf everyday, many times a day for many years and I find that most people here are fairly knowledgeable and have strong but constructive ideas, which I find refreshing after reading a review on IGN or Gamespot.

Geoff is a definite sellout. Just the amount of times he says Xbox, Halo and Call of Duty is scary. I am not sure that he is selling out to Microsoft of Activision, rather I believe he is selling out to the mass-market, who obviously only know those 3 words in all of gaming. He wants to keep his job and Spike TV's ratings, which is understandable but not journalism. I see him as a talk-show host more than anything.
 
But he didn't. He even wrote that he wouldn't do so because "it's a horrible thing to do." in the original article:
Until someone exposes the hacks, this will be a continuing cycle of idiocy. This site here did expose some curruption on the side of one site treating it's "journalist" like shit and even went on to name names, but it never went any further into it really.
 
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