Journalism vs. patronage


So… it’s about ethics in game journalism?


Exactly - the only ethical game journalist is one who doesn’t play video games (direct patronage), or even accept freeby review copies (indirect patronage).

Similarly - how do you report on something that almost everyone supports - grocery stores, transit systems, etc.

This seems like such small potatoes when you have people out there like Paul Graham and Jason Calacanis using their large megaphones to promote and defend companies that they have a financial stake in. A financial stake that I’m guessing dwarfs all the money that flows through Patreon.

I understand that reporters should disclose their connections when they benefit materially from the subjects of their work. (or recuse themselves). But I’m still having a hard time understanding why Jane Rock Critic’s review of the new OK GO album needs to disclose that she bought tickets to see Marian Call or bought swag at a Fleetwood Mac gig.


in the enthusiast press, I think some of this conflict is unavoidable, and simple disclosure is fine. Given that it’s an enthusiast press, nobody except enthusiasts cares enough to write about it, and its impact, except in cases where said enthusiasts turn out to be totally batshit crazy, doesn’t really extend far beyond the community of enthusiasts.

1 Like

Ethical journalists pirate. Wait, that can’t be right…


One piece that he (IMNSHO) missed: If you are only contributing to a crowd funding campaign to get the thing, and therefore getting something of value nominally equal to what you put in and therefore (in his logic) don’t need to disclose it, if I read it correctly.

However, your ability to get the thing/service/“reward” depends on the campaign being successful, especially if it’s a KickStarter all-or-nothing campaign. So therefore you do have an interest in its success, and that’s what you should disclose to your readers. All the more so if you got in with an extra-value earlybird deal, which a campaign might have given you early notification of/access to the opportunity, whether you know it or not… that special deal starts to smell like a bribe.

1 Like

“Who’s a good subject? You are! Yes, you are!”

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.