The Games Media Awards held in London last month caused quite a stir when the public found out journalists were tweeting PR-prompted hashtags in return for a chance to win free gear.
The news got out of hand quickly, and video-game journalists and fans are still talking about it. The image above, of journalist Geoff Keighley forcibly surrounded by junk food as part of an interview, became emblematic of the issue (though not Keighley's fault).
Well, Bitmob is all about games writing. It's in our blood, and it's the purpose of our site. So when an issue like this grabs the attention of our community, we want to hear what you have to say.
We've already front-paged a couple of your articles on this topic, and our own Jason Lomberg has shared his opinion as well. But we thought it made sense to round all your thoughts up into one hub. So check out the article summaries below, and see what you think.
Is games journalism too close to the games industry?
By Ewan Aiton
Ewan examines the necessary relationships that journalists and public-relations reps must forge to create quality coverage. "We’re friends with PR and developers because we need to be, and because in most cases they’re just as passionate about games as we are," he writes. "What’s important is that the good journalists know how to be critical at the right moment."
Journalistic integrity from an average gamer's perspective
By Chris "Cosmo" Ross
Chris compares the issue to his own work in the healthcare industry, where he sees doctors accept handouts from pharmaceutical companies in exchange for using and recommending their drugs. He also says that his current boss engages in none of this corruption: "He's in it for his patients and not the perks. This is how it should be in the healthcare industry, and this is how it has to be in games journalism."
A personal reflection on video game journalism
By Mark Purcell
As an aspiring game critic, Mark's been depressed over this week's events. His biggest takeaway is that everyone in the industry — writers, PR, and fans alike — needs to understand each other's role. "How can we as a whole be respected by other industries if we can't even respect each other?" he writes.
Writing about video games is hard work
By Steven Sukkau
Many fans think of writing about games as a dream job, but it takes a lot more than love for the subject matter, as Steven explains: "Games journalism takes dedication. It’s not always 'fun.' It's better than that. It's satisfying."
Journalistic integrity: A pledge to the readers
By Ewan Aiton
Ewan follows up his earlier discussion with a personal vow to maintain his honor when it comes to gaming coverage. "I want to make sure now that anyone who reads my work can be confident that I have not been, nor will I ever be duly influenced by PR pressure of generosity in my criticism of the games industry," Ewan writes. So say we all, brother.
All journalism is difficult: A look at gaming journalism and the profession of journalism
By Stan Rezaee
Stan takes a look at how journalists' relationships with sources work outside of the gaming industry. "Gaming journalists need to follow the examples of film critics in being objective and not working in fear of rattling the carrot stick," he writes.
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