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Remember This When You Read All the Glowing Words About the 360 Slim

GAME JOURNOS AT WORK

It’s good to be a game journo, re: MS’ E3 press conference:

The US price is the same $299 as the current model. Everyone in the audience got one for free. Sorry.

Nope, no conflict of interest here, no sir.1

I hope this is a joke on Edge’s part, but it sure seems like an odd place to put one, even in light of that dry, British, sense of humour humor–anyone else notice any other sites offering up this little bit of info? I’m gonna guess not…

Also: here’s a nice quote from the New York Times manual on journalistic ethics and how they view gifts from those they cover:

Staff members may not accept gifts, tickets, discounts, reimbursements or other inducements from any individuals or organizations covered by The Times or likely to be covered by The Times. (Exceptions may be made for trinkets of nominal value, say, $25 or less, such as a mug or a cap with a company logo.) Gifts should be returned with a polite explanation.

And:

Staff members may not accept anything that could be construed as a payment for favorable coverage or as an inducement to alter or forgo unfavorable coverage.

I imagine the only correspondence with Microsoft will be some mood music, a little wine and a tongue bath.

Update: nope, not a joke, per Fei in the comments.


1 Skip to the next-to-last paragraph.

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  1. 06/14/2010 at 20:03

    Joystiq said up front that they got them, and they are giving them away to readers, at least.

  2. kog3100_edw
    06/14/2010 at 20:39

    The Times quotes are well situated and so relevant.

  3. kog3100_edw
    06/14/2010 at 20:49

    There is a segment of the community who’d tell you the times ethics bits are NOT relevant to game jouralists. Whatever is going on in video games boils down essentially to entertainment. It isn’t NEWS in the same way government doings, wars, crime, etc. all are. They’d argue that whatever the angle, essentially any reporting on an entertainment segment doesn’t qualify as NEWS at all unless it is pertinent to the financial sector.

    I’m not part of that segment. I think the ethics are relevant. But how would you answer that argument? What reason would you give that game journos NEED to maintain credibility in the same manner as the Times stipulates?

    • ECM
      06/14/2010 at 21:41

      Well, I think it boils down to this: if you want to wear the mantle of “journalist”, you need to adhere to the rules as they have always been understood and, indeed, are still taught/held to this day, primary amongst them is not having massive conflicts of interest of one sort or another. (And no, disclosing those conflicts is not enough: you need to *not* be engaging in it at all if you want to be a journalist.)

      (We could further get into the nuts and bolts of this and, ultimately, draw the conclusion that almost none of these guys are journalists in any, traditional, sense of the word and that they merely appropriate it because they are desperate for a sheen of respectability on a job that literally relies upon 3rd party marketing and PR to function at all, but if they want to keep claiming it (and they do) I’m going to keep beating them w/ a hammer over it.)

  4. 06/14/2010 at 21:34

    No, they got ’em. I think it would be a good way to analyze the system, maybe tear it apart for a gadget blog, but after that it would be a little, uh, awkward to keep?

    • ECM
      06/14/2010 at 21:43

      I wish it was awkward but, by and large (and in the vast, vast majority of cases), it is not.

      Also (above and beyond Neko’s point), pursuant to the gift issue (in this example, in Joystiq’s case where they’re being ‘good citizens’ by giving away the object in question) accepting trips, free drinks, food, lodging, ski trips, etc. is also way beyond the pale, period.

      After all, how does one divest oneself of a trip to Taho??

  5. kog3100_edw
    06/15/2010 at 13:18

    It think both sections of your reply to me are pertinent, and along the same lines I’ve been thinking and always thought: ‘You’re not journalists’.

    I think the movie industry, though not perfect, sets the standard. Critics are critics (not journalists) and whatever screenings and perks they get they still (the majority) give their unvarnished opinion. That’s why studios that know they have a stinker on their hands frequently forego letting the critics see it ahead of time, and that is their prerogative. Film writers writing about the personalities and any ‘news’ involving the film industry don’t call themselves journalists. Do we hear the term ‘film journalist’? Or ‘cinema journalist’?

    No. We don’t.

    The (now) long-running artform (if it matters) of cinema, has managed without the veneer of respectability conferred by the term journalist. It is amazing that video gaming is so desperate, that like dogging after validation as an artform, the community feels it MUST have journalists as well.

    Basically its like saying Melissa Rivers catching people on the red carpet at an awards show is a journalist.

  1. 06/16/2010 at 11:08

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