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

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Ultimately, for me, what it comes down to is the problem that is endemic with all media: people want quality journalism, but they sure as fuck don't want to pay quality journalism prices for it.
Funnily enough I had forgotten this until you mentioned it but I *do* pay for some of it. I subscribe to GiantBomb for example. And I know they have literally thousands of paid members who do the same. They have section devoted to members only content.

Which isn't weird to me at all because it amounts to less than $5 a month, which is less than what I used to pay regularly for magazines for over a decade.
 
Seeing GAF as one entity isn't right, but a lot of people here just saying 'gaming media' are bad is the same thing. There are good and bad outlets, just like there are good and bad posters.
Actually I think ti is more nuanced than that even.

It is not even a matter of "good outlets" or "bad outlets." Because even the "good ones" do some things I consider questionable sometimes and even the bad ones occasionally have good stories.

The point, I guess is just to be more skeptical and judicious and not give any site a free pass on your skepticism about how they frame and generate coverage just because you like that site.

For example, I like Giant Bomb quite a bit. Enough that I pay them money. But that doesn't mean I think they are faultless.
 
Ultimately, for me, what it comes down to is the problem that is endemic with all media: people want quality journalism, but they sure as fuck don't want to pay quality journalism prices for it.
The new media's biggest mistake was giving away all online content free from the start. People are accustomed to getting their news for free now.
 
I think only one of the guys on Gamers with Jobs still does any freelance stuff and even that is pretty rare. The other guys all have jobs outside the industry, hence the title of the site and podcast.

I'm not sure what this Atlus thing is about or why it is relevant. Got a link?
-- To categorize GAF as being outside of the sphere of influence of PR seems like a mischaracterization when enough people thought it was newsworthy that a PR person was leaving Atlas to participate in a multi-page thread. http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=496946

-- I was just going by the Gamers With Jobs User Guide page -- as it's been a few years since I listened to the podcast. They are all former or current game critics, aren't they?

The Podcast Crew


Shawn Andrich – The host of the show. Shawn has been working on gaming websites for over a decade. Before the Conference Call, he was co-host on the GWJ Radio podcast and the short-lived Escapist Radio show. He plays games on every platform and in nearly every genre. His loathing for WoW and what it has done to otherwise interesting people is legendary.


Sean Sands – The Co-Founder of GWJ, Sean has penned hundreds of articles dissecting the gaming industry and revealing his darkest secrets. With exciting catchphrases like "blight on the industry" and "for the masses," Sean Sands continues to set the trend for creative scorn. He has two kids and a wife way above his pay grade.


Julian Murdoch - Every family needs the grizzled, old, crazy uncle, telling war stories from the good old days while forgetting his dentures and drinking prune juice, and Julian Murdoch is ours. He's written for four major gaming magazines, each of which folded within 12 months of his arrival. We keep asking him not to write for us, but someone gave him the keys and locksmiths are expensive.


Cory Banks - A Seattle native, Cory provides much-needed indie cred to the show, almost by default. It doesn't hurt that he grows a mean indie beard and wears the finest in horn-rimmed glasses. Cory has written for a number of publications and brings a special brand of caustic wit to the show.


Rob Zacny - One day Rob Zacny just showed up and pressed his nose against the window like a hungry Dickensian street urchin. Sean and Shawn sternly informed him he would earn his keep if they took him in. Then they handed him a pile of straw and told him to spin it all into Tuesday features. Since then, his two great joys have been stealing from Rabbit's wine cellar, and the ensuing drunken Conference Call appearances. When no one is around, the ingrate writes for other outlets, and has even started hosting his own podcast.


Lara Crigger - Freelance writer Lara Crigger has written for nearly a dozen gaming publications, most of which Julian shut down. As a handheld and casual games aficionado, she plays all the games you secretly want but have too much cred to play. Lara lives with her husband and dog in a secret volcanic lair just outside Rochester, New York.


Robert Borges – He brings an unbridled optimism to the discussion, equaled only by his impotent rage. Rob is also a world-class actor and stuntman.


Jonathan Downin - Mixer man behind the scenes, Jonathan makes sure your ears are in the same condition at the end of the show as at the beginning. No stranger to podcasts as a medium, he also produces the Joystiq Podcast and is the head "keyboard manipulator" over at CastMedium and Game Thing Daily.
 
I think Laura (who rarely appears on the podcast) and Rob Zachny are the only two who still do freelance work of any sort really. I'm pretty sure of this because they just got an e-mail about what they do for a living about a month ago and they all went into it in depth.
 
I guess it all goes down to trust like klepek said. It's unrealistic to expect press to flick off every PR swag without eventually losing early coverage or what not. I remember gerstmann not liking mw3 much but still gave it 4/5. If I didn't trust GB, I'd probably have cancelled my sub. Idk. Readers should vote with your money/clicks.

Idk. Games media is a fickle business.
 
Funnily enough I had forgotten this until you mentioned it but I *do* pay for some of it. I subscribe to GiantBomb for example. And I know they have literally thousands of paid members who do the same. They have section devoted to members only content.

Which isn't weird to me at all because it amounts to less than $5 a month, which is less than what I used to pay regularly for magazines for over a decade.
Fantastic. But sans advertising, the profit to manhours ratio is, in almost all cases, completely boned. Newspapers, magazines; once you hit a certain threshold in size, no form of media is able to subsist completely on the direct payments of its consumerbase and still maintain a certain level of quality.
 
I guess it all goes down to trust like klepek said. It's unrealistic to expect press to flick off every PR swag without eventually losing early coverage or what not. I remember gerstmann not liking mw3 much but still gave it 4/5. If I didn't trust GB, I'd probably have cancelled my sub. Idk. Readers should vote with your money/clicks.

Idk. Games media is a fickle business.
Even if you find a site that you trust or even if you don't go to any of those sites, I still think there is a larger question of how the games media function because it impacts the interest of the larger culture in very significant ways.
 
PR people are not automatically evil. My favorite podcast by far is Three Moves Ahead and Troy Goodfellow (the flashofsteel.com site owner) is a PR guy. He handled the transition from independent writer to his current position in such a transparent way that I'm sure he didn't lost an ounce of the trust he build with his audience in the process.
 
I guess it all goes down to trust like klepek said.
But these journalists also need to remember that you don't gain trust by just saying "trust me." The proof is in the pudding. And right now, the "pudding" is how sites/writers distance themselves from their many PR entanglements.

And, no, PR people aren't evil. Neither is the press. But those PR influences are subtle and frequently go under-acknowledged. Game journalists refuse to think about it because they think they're somehow superhuman and above it all. But it's impossible. That's why standards exist.

Set some hard-and-fast standards, stick to them, and tell your readers about them. That's the heart of "transparency" and "trust" in journalism. Then let your readers decide if your standards justify giving you our trust. That's how trust really works.
 
Sorry if this has already been posted -- still catching up on the tread -- but from Jeff Gerstmann's Tumblr:

alcoapresentsdefinitelynotajew asked:
From the Assassin's Creed III press kit, by the VP of Sales and Marketing at Ubisoft: "Thank you for igniting unprecedented consumer interest in Assassin's Creed III, which is sure to break plenty of sales records this holiday." Thanks, Jeff! I hope you dropped your pants and took a dump on that kit. (Even though that flag think looks pretty rad.)

(Answer): Yep, totally gross. That’s not the only thing I’d like to ignite around here, that’s for sure.
 
But these journalists also need to remember that you don't gain trust by just saying "trust me." The proof is in the pudding. And right now, the "pudding" is how sites/writers distance themselves from their many PR entanglements.

And, no, PR aren't evil. Neither is the press. But those influences are subtle and frequently go under-acknowledged. Set some hard-and-fast standards, stick to them, and tell your readers about them.
Maybe it's due to video over text format for me. Maybe I'm being played hard. Don't know.

What can press do? Make videos of them blowing up the press packages with c4?
 
http://www.giantbomb.com/ -- They give developers/publicist more of a voice than they should have by inviting them to participate in Quick Looks and podcasts.
While I can definitely see your point in this, I think the fact that Giant Bomb is a Personality site as much (or really more) than a journalistic site leads to a level of transparency that you don't often get from other sites. People who follow the site and its content really get a solid grasp on where these guys are coming from when they put out content.

For instance, knowing Jeff's love for Mortal Kombat allows me to read his reviews of MK games through the lens of that love. (He can give the game 5 stars and I still know it's a 2-star game for me at best due to our personal biases toward the genre and franchise) Listeners of the Bombcast also generally know exactly which press events they attend, and so on.

They're far from perfect, but I think they do a much better job than most in the transparency department.
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
Any chance you could explain your reasoning? Also claiming Eurogamer started this shows you still have no real grasp on why(& for what reason) people are complaining.
If Eurogamer never amended this article this thread would have been 4 or 5 pages tops.

They're examples of sites that some GAFers consider respectable. As opposed to Kotaku, which pretty much everyone is displeased with at the moment.

NervousCretin is saying that nothing can possibly satisfy us, that we should get used to Kotaku being as pitiful as it is since it couldn't survive otherwise. These notions are demonstrably false.
NervousCretin, oh you.

Anyhow I never said that we should accept Kotaku as being the be all end all. So you are putting words in my mouth.

What I am saying is that the glaring need for a PR free/Ad Free gaming website that is all about serious news just isn't all that intriguing to be honest.

Yet blanket saying that websites today are just PR fluff is wrong. Go to any site now and you can find PR pieces, sure.. but you'll find other stories that have nothing to do with PR. Honestly, I don't even know why some of you find the PR type pieces so in your face offensive to be honest.
 
Maybe it's due to video over text format for me. Maybe I'm being played hard. Don't know.

What can press do? Make videos of them blowing up the press packages with c4?
This isn't a violent revolution. We're just asking for some basic and clear standards. A code that assures readers that boundaries aren't being crossed in the way that they currently are. Right now, journalists regularly get the kinds of perks and gifts that any fan would love to get. But they can't act like fans in those moments. They have to act like journalists.

I believe them when they say that they feel unswayed by exclusive developer access, pre-release materials, and lavish preview events. But "feeling" unswayed is not the same thing as actually being unswayed. That's why standards exist. Set standards like: "we only link to trailers/screenshots hosted on publisher websites," or "we accept no material gifts whatsoever from publishers," or "we pay for all work-related travel," etc. These should be universal standards. But they're not. This kind of stuff is the heart of the "PR-journalism complex."

It's up to game sites to distinguish themselves from PR and to win our trust. They can't just say "trust me, I'm uninfluenced by PR." I'm sure they feel this way, but that's like a kid saying they're uninfluenced by TV commercials, but then when Christmas rolls around the first thing they ask for is the thing that's been advertised the most, or talked about the most by their friends (who watch those same commercials and also feel "uninfluenced"). That's PR.
 

BeauRoger

Unconfirmed Member
Even if you find a site that you trust or even if you don't go to any of those sites, I still think there is a larger question of how the games media function because it impacts the interest of the larger culture in very significant ways.
Yeah. The more idealistic side of this can never be ignored, because the day people no longer care about part, they are no longer consumer advocates. In reality though its obvious that most of the gaming press would not survive if not for all the gaming adds and the interaction with PR people. Any "journalists" that mingle so closely to the very thing they are writing about is bad news.

It would be nice to have a few gamings mags/sites that were so established that they dont need this staged PR BS, nor the gaming adds. If a major newspaper/news site had a large, dedicated gaming section that didnt need that type of "outside" help, then perhaps they would have the advantage for a change. Publishers would stumble over themselves to get exposure there, and the mag could dictate how everything should go down.

That type of status quo doesnt seem to exist though, thats the problem of being enthusiast press posing as journalists.
 
It would be nice to have a few gamings mags/sites that were so established that they dont need this staged PR BS, nor the gaming adds. If a major newspaper/news site had a large, dedicated gaming section that didnt need that type of "outside" help, then perhaps they would have the advantage for a change. Publishers would stumble over themselves to get exposure there, and the mag could dictate how everything should go down.
To be fair, I think this is one of the big things that Polygon has been trying to do. Unfortunately, the reality of their situation is a lot less dramatic than that.

And seeing how many folks on GAF have responded to their non-gaming sponsers (Geico and Internet Explorer) shows why they're not really interested in the noise that GAF makes over this stuff. I wish there was a way to show them that this particular issue is different from the usual hubbub.
 
Yeah. The more idealistic side of this can never be ignored, because the day people no longer care about part, they are no longer consumer advocates. In reality though its obvious that most of the gaming press would not survive if not for all the gaming adds and the interaction with PR people. Any "journalists" that mingle so closely to the very thing they are writing about is bad news.

It would be nice to have a few gamings mags/sites that were so established that they dont need this staged PR BS, nor the gaming adds. If a major newspaper/news site had a large, dedicated gaming section that didnt need that type of "outside" help, then perhaps they would have the advantage for a change. Publishers would stumble over themselves to get exposure there, and the mag could dictate how everything should go down.

That type of status quo doesnt seem to exist though, thats the problem of being enthusiast press posing and as journalists.
If newspapers would get a large dedicated gaming section, publishers would pay for the ad space there and the discussion can start again. Maybe they won't have the same influence, but the ads will still be there, the goodies will be sent and the trips offered. The perception of publisher influence would not go away.
 
The perception of publisher influence would not go away.
It would quiet down enormously if there were clear and predictable standards over what is and isn't an acceptable interaction/exchange between PR and journalists.

IMO one easy solution is for editors at game sites to be the only ones who deal directly with PR reps. People doing the actual "on the ground" writing and interviewing should only be in contact with the games and those they are actually writing about.
 
While I can definitely see your point in this, I think the fact that Giant Bomb is a Personality site as much (or really more) than a journalistic site leads to a level of transparency that you don't often get from other sites. People who follow the site and its content really get a solid grasp on where these guys are coming from when they put out content.

For instance, knowing Jeff's love for Mortal Kombat allows me to read his reviews of MK games through the lens of that love. (He can give the game 5 stars and I still know it's a 2-star game for me at best due to our personal biases toward the genre and franchise) Listeners of the Bombcast also generally know exactly which press events they attend, and so on.

They're far from perfect, but I think they do a much better job than most in the transparency department.
I totally agree. Like you mentioned, I don't want to suggest they're perfect or eternally immune to outside influences, but the constant access they give people to themselves, to the office, to some of the more ridiculous PR stunts by publishers, etc. results in me having a much clearer picture of who they are and where they're coming from with their opinions. Much, much more so than with someone from IGN or Kotaku.
 

BeauRoger

Unconfirmed Member
If newspapers would get a large dedicated gaming section, publishers would pay for the ad space there and the discussion can start again. Maybe they won't have the same influence, but the ads will still be there, the goodies will be sent and the trips offered. The perception of publisher influence would not go away.
Yeah but the reality of the journalists having to accept it would be completely different. And suppose that you stayed on the main site but just clicked the gaming section, then the adverts wouldnt even have to change. If gaming ever becomes so main stream that game specific adds are no longer percieved to be required for that audience, then i suppose it would be possible.

The "publisher influence" exists everywhere in media/journalism, not just gaming. That wont ever go away. However, the belief (which is justified, i think) that gaming press is extra susceptible to it might change.
 
This isn't a violent revolution. We're just asking for some basic and clear standards. A code that assures readers that boundaries aren't being crossed in the way that they currently are. Right now, journalists regularly get the kinds of perks and gifts that any fan would love to get. But they can't act like fans in those moments. They have to act like journalists.

I believe them when they say that they feel unswayed by exclusive developer access, pre-release materials, and lavish preview events. But "feeling" unswayed is not the same thing as actually being unswayed. That's why standards exist. Set standards like: "we only link to trailers/screenshots hosted on publisher websites," or "we accept no material gifts whatsoever from publishers," or "we pay for all work-related travel," etc. These should be universal standards. But they're not. This kind of stuff is the heart of the "PR-journalism complex."

It's up to game sites to distinguish themselves from PR and to win our trust. They can't just say "trust me, I'm uninfluenced by PR." I'm sure they feel this way, but that's like a kid saying they're uninfluenced by TV commercials, but then when Christmas rolls around the first thing they ask for is the thing that's been advertised the most, or talked about the most by their friends (who watch those same commercials and also feel "uninfluenced"). That's PR.
Agreed.


But I'd still love a video of someone dowsing the ac3 flag in gasoline and burning it xD.
 
The "publisher influence" exists everywhere in media/journalism, not just gaming. That wont ever go away. However, the belief (which is justified, i think) that gaming press is extra susceptible to it might change.
One would hope. And it's here that I think that game journalists would benefit from looking at the standards set by journalists in other entertainment industries. There's a difference in the relationship that Entertainment Tonight has with film PR and the relationship that a critic like Michael Phillips has with film PR. And that difference begins and ends with standards.

And no amount of "transparency" will change my feelings on Entertainment Tonight's close relationship with industry PR.
 
NervousCretin, oh you.

Anyhow I never said that we should accept Kotaku as being the be all end all. So you are putting words in my mouth.

What I am saying is that the glaring need for a PR free/Ad Free gaming website that is all about serious news just isn't all that intriguing to be honest.

Yet blanket saying that websites today are just PR fluff is wrong. Go to any site now and you can find PR pieces, sure.. but you'll find other stories that have nothing to do with PR. Honestly, I don't even know why some of you find the PR type pieces so in your face offensive to be honest.
I'm putting words in your mouth? "They're examples of sites that some GAFers consider respectable. As opposed to Kotaku, which pretty much everyone is displeased with at the moment.

NervousCretin is saying that nothing can possibly satisfy us, that we should get used to Kotaku being as pitiful as it is since it couldn't survive otherwise. These notions are demonstrably false."

And your posts:

"See this is why it's hard to have discussion with you guys, what you want is so far away from what could probably ever be a successful gaming site."

"They want to watch the whole thing burn down, at least some of them do."

"It's a fucking un-boxing video, it get's page hits, which helps pay the bills so they can do other things as well..."
 
HAHA! I defended that guy just a few pages ago! Is he forced to do this or whats the deal?! How can anybody, having seen this, ever look at him as an unbiased journalist/interviewer ever again?
I'm sure he is, candidly or not, trying to show that he knows how to laugh at himself. Quite clever.
 
Sorry if this has already been posted -- still catching up on the tread -- but from Jeff Gerstmann's Tumblr:
was the post before that included either?

It’ll probably come up on the podcast, assuming everyone isn’t completely bored of hearing about it by then. But sure, I’ll write something. Here:

“The Games Media Awards is set up to honor game journalists in the UK and every single ‘Gold Partner Sponsor’ is a fucking video game company. The end.”

Or perhaps my reaction could more accurately be summed up as “except for the unfortunate part where this will cause some people to incorrectly assume that everyone in this line of work is ethically unsound, an idiot, or both, I am too busy covering games to give a shit about what any of those people are doing.”
Disappointed to see him go with the "who gives a shit" response given his own history
 

BeauRoger

Unconfirmed Member
Come on. Has anyone ever thought he was really anything more than the Billy Bush of video games?
His ethical flexibility aside, he has always struck me as a pretty clever dude. Composed, brings up valid points, etc. Sure, he can go soft on people in interviews and sometimes just annoyingly skim on the surface complex issues instead of going in depth, but i still feel that he has the skillset to be great at what he does... but this..
 
Given that folks in this thread seem so understanding, I'm sure you'll forgive me for having not read through this whole thing. I mainly popped in to look at which terrible post I'd made was being paired up with my comment about us not posting about Robert Florence.

I see that choosing not to report this story now qualifies one as a non-journalism doing scumbag. That's a strange conclusion to leap to. The lovely thing about journalism is that there are new stories to report every day, and the got-the-pitchforks out mood here sure does make this a more interesting story. So, who knows. Maybe we'll do something on it. But last week? No, I didn't care that much. We talked about it, discussed doing a story. For now, we're not.

I did see someone mention that they thought that the continued suspicion that some gamers have of games media should clearly qualify this as something worthy of coverage, but that works both ways. On the one hand, sure, those suspicions are intensified now and that's interesting. But, on the other hand, this is more of the same. The sun coming up another day doesn't make for the world's most interesting story. (If you're wondering why we couldn't do just a short item on it and move on, since we'll do short items on, say, screenshots of some new game ,it's because the facts of this story are murky enough that it wouldn't work to just dash something off in 10 minutes.)

The theory that we're holding off on the story because we are compromised in some way is wrong. I'm not afraid of reporting or writing things that are uncomfortable. Anyone who follows the site I edit or my own work knows that. Kotaku, as part of Gawker Media, is well-insulated from being perpetually dependent on gaming ads, we're big enough that we can afford to piss publishers off (which we do regularly), and my team is paid well. We don't take travel; we dispose of or give away swag in ways that, ideally, don't turn the disposal of the swag into PR for the game the swag came with. We have a broad audience and we do our best to cater to a broad range of taste. Other than asking you to read Kotaku and maybe bother to remember articles that you actually like and respect, there's not much I can do to convince you that we're doing our jobs well. Nor can I convince those of you who see imperfections that we try to improve every day.

You can read what you want read, you can see what you want to see. Those who wish to pull out a list of stories on Kotaku that they don't like or think are not journalism and therefore aren't allowed to be posted on a news and opinion site can continue to do so.

Journalists should be watchdogs. It's always good to be having some watchdogs watching the watchdogs. Hopefully something good will come of this.
 
Journalists should be watchdogs. It's always good to be having some watchdogs watching the watchdogs. Hopefully something good will come of this.
Thank you. I think we can all agree on this.

I'm sure you can also understand why this seems like such a big deal. It's not that any of us is surprised or shocked by what happened (other than the very unfortunate end to Rab Florence's column on Eurogamer). What's been shocking is what hasn't happened. There's been a virtual non-response from the gaming press themselves. This might seem like the "same old junk" to you, but not to many of us. Everyone (press and readers alike) have watched as publisher PR has gotten more of a foothold into the gaming media. It's always been there, but this event has given us all a bit of a jolt into taking stock. That's not a bad thing for you in the press, or for us readers.

The real question is, what will you do about it? If you're happy with the way things stand now, fine. But clearly, many of your readers (present and former) are not. That should be worth reflecting on, no?
 
Given that folks in this thread seem so understanding, I'm sure you'll forgive me for having not read through this whole thing. I mainly popped in to look at which terrible post I'd made was being paired up with my comment about us not posting about Robert Florence.

I see that choosing not to report this story now qualifies one as a non-journalism doing scumbag. That's a strange conclusion to leap to. The lovely thing about journalism is that there are new stories to report every day, and the got-the-pitchforks out mood here sure does make this a more interesting story. So, who knows. Maybe we'll do something on it. But last week? No, I didn't care that much. We talked about it, discussed doing a story. For now, we're not.

I did see someone mention that they thought that the continued suspicion that some gamers have of games media should clearly qualify this as something worthy of coverage, but that works both ways. On the one hand, sure, those suspicions are intensified now and that's interesting. But, on the other hand, this is more of the same. The sun coming up another day doesn't make for the world's most interesting story. (If you're wondering why we couldn't do just a short item on it and move on, since we'll do short items on, say, screenshots of some new game ,it's because the facts of this story are murky enough that it wouldn't work to just dash something off in 10 minutes.)

The theory that we're holding off on the story because we are compromised in some way is wrong. I'm not afraid of reporting or writing things that are uncomfortable. Anyone who follows the site I edit or my own work knows that. Kotaku, as part of Gawker Media, is well-insulated from being perpetually dependent on gaming ads, we're big enough that we can afford to piss publishers off (which we do regularly), and my team is paid well. We don't take travel; we dispose of or give away swag in ways that, ideally, don't turn the disposal of the swag into PR for the game the swag came with. We have a broad audience and we do our best to cater to a broad range of taste. Other than asking you to read Kotaku and maybe bother to remember articles that you actually like and respect, there's not much I can do to convince you that we're doing our jobs well. Nor can I convince those of you who see imperfections that we try to improve every day.

You can read what you want read, you can see what you want to see. Those who wish to pull out a list of stories on Kotaku that they don't like or think are not journalism and therefore aren't allowed to be posted on a news and opinion site can continue to do so.

Journalists should be watchdogs. It's always good to be having some watchdogs watching the watchdogs. Hopefully something good will come of this.
Thanks for taking the time to step into the hornet's nest and make a comment.

To the bolded, I think that's admirable, and especially appreciate the second part of it. Holding contests or the like to distribute items to the community, which might make the community happy, would result in additional publicity for the games in question - essentially giving them even more than they wanted the swag to generate to begin with.

on the other hand, doing things like unboxing videos basically is giving publicity to the people who gave you the gear.
 
The theory that we're holding off on the story because we are compromised in some way is wrong. I'm not afraid of reporting or writing things that are uncomfortable. Anyone who follows the site I edit or my own work knows that. Kotaku, as part of Gawker Media, is well-insulated from being perpetually dependent on gaming ads, we're big enough that we can afford to piss publishers off (which we do regularly), and my team is paid well. We don't take travel; we dispose of or give away swag in ways that, ideally, don't turn the disposal of the swag into PR for the game the swag came with. We have a broad audience and we do our best to cater to a broad range of taste. Other than asking you to read Kotaku and maybe bother to remember articles that you actually like and respect, there's not much I can do to convince you that we're doing our jobs well. Nor can I convince those of you who see imperfections that we try to improve every day.
I don't think you are "compromised" because you wont run a story on it. I just think it is kind of fucked up that if a company sends you an expensive tchotchke with a PR statment you post a video. But an actual conversation about the influence of PR is not important to you. That is "more of the same" but a new "limited edition 360" isn't? How many limited edition 360s have there been at this point? And how many stories have there been about this kind of PR infience? How is the later "more of the same"?

If GAF got together and chipped in to send you a blinged out lamp featuring the Leg of Chung Li in the vein of The Christmas Story along with a letter about our concern about PR influence, maybe you would do an "unboxing" video of our concern?
 

BeauRoger

Unconfirmed Member
Given that folks in this thread seem so understanding, I'm sure you'll forgive me for having not read through this whole thing. I mainly popped in to look at which terrible post I'd made was being paired up with my comment about us not posting about Robert Florence.

I see that choosing not to report this story now qualifies one as a non-journalism doing scumbag. That's a strange conclusion to leap to. The lovely thing about journalism is that there are new stories to report every day, and the got-the-pitchforks out mood here sure does make this a more interesting story. So, who knows. Maybe we'll do something on it. But last week? No, I didn't care that much. We talked about it, discussed doing a story. For now, we're not.

I did see someone mention that they thought that the continued suspicion that some gamers have of games media should clearly qualify this as something worthy of coverage, but that works both ways. On the one hand, sure, those suspicions are intensified now and that's interesting. But, on the other hand, this is more of the same. The sun coming up another day doesn't make for the world's most interesting story. (If you're wondering why we couldn't do just a short item on it and move on, since we'll do short items on, say, screenshots of some new game ,it's because the facts of this story are murky enough that it wouldn't work to just dash something off in 10 minutes.)

The theory that we're holding off on the story because we are compromised in some way is wrong. I'm not afraid of reporting or writing things that are uncomfortable. Anyone who follows the site I edit or my own work knows that. Kotaku, as part of Gawker Media, is well-insulated from being perpetually dependent on gaming ads, we're big enough that we can afford to piss publishers off (which we do regularly), and my team is paid well. We don't take travel; we dispose of or give away swag in ways that, ideally, don't turn the disposal of the swag into PR for the game the swag came with. We have a broad audience and we do our best to cater to a broad range of taste. Other than asking you to read Kotaku and maybe bother to remember articles that you actually like and respect, there's not much I can do to convince you that we're doing our jobs well. Nor can I convince those of you who see imperfections that we try to improve every day.

You can read what you want read, you can see what you want to see. Those who wish to pull out a list of stories on Kotaku that they don't like or think are not journalism and therefore aren't allowed to be posted on a news and opinion site can continue to do so.

Journalists should be watchdogs. It's always good to be having some watchdogs watching the watchdogs. Hopefully something good will come of this.
I have heard a lot of people in this industry complain about the fact that there are not that many stories of real significance to report on any given week, and so things like the halo unboxings and other easy digested pieces seem to dominate. Many of them are also things gaming PR have a direct hand in, previews, press releases, trailers, etc, that goes up on every gaming related news site at basically the same time. This whole debacle with the euro gamer article and the firing seems like one of the few original and interesting things to report and elaborate on.

I therefore find it strange that this potential story is so easily dismissed, especially when you use terms like "journalism" to describe what you are doing. That term comes with some standards to uphold you know, and those standards clearly dont belong in the former category of easy digested pieces, unboxings, trailers, etc.
 
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This well reasoned post is miles away of that dismissive reply you wrote on Kotaku. The focus of Robert Florence original article was the incestuous relationship between games media and PR. That would be a more interesting story to pursue in my opinion, than the clusterfuck that ensued.
 
I have heard a lot of people within this industry complain about the fact that there are not that many stories a week to report on of real significance, and so things like the halo unboxings and other easy digested pieces seem to dominate. .
That's the world's worst excuse for a Halo unboxing video!

There are plenty of good stories to report. More than we can ever get to. Some are stories people in this thread would like. Some aren't. Good reporting takes time and a lot of effort. It's nice when people read it and remember it.
 
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