Drop Ethics, Money is King.

Journalism as it is known, generally anyway, is essentially an unbiased approach on topics and matters featured, discussed, and scrutinized under the media microscope.

When readers in this case, I would argue to call them the ‘market’ - since publications either offline or online earn through advertising deals and mostly likely 90% or more of their revenue source stems from these ads. Thus, calling the readers as a market would be logical and most of all, true.

Their internal clients largely consists of companies that churns out products or services that caters to the demographic and purchasing taste of the readers. A straightforward approach on how these publications do business and turn a profit: the more readers, the larger the market, the larger the market, the higher the possibility of ‘internal’ clients on buying an ad space within their sites or pages.

So, to put it in a nutshell, the silent but imperative objective of journalists as a content provider is to increase and expand the market through content.

GTA 4s official release was April 29th, a couple of days prior to the release, IGN.com published an EXCLUSIVE review of the game, thousands read the review within the first few hours. And in a matter of a day or two, hundreds of thousands had visited IGN for the sole reason of reading the review for the biggest game release of the year. The million dollar question is, what was IGN's edge to Rockstar that they became the de-facto gaming site to cover such a high profile game?

Coincidentally, as if the stars suddenly aligned and the big bang reoccurred, IGN gave it a whopping 10 - a perfect mark. Not since the days of yore have they given a game a perfect score - as attested by IGN staff.

What clearly disturbs those fascinated with journalistic back alleys is the exclusivity and the surprisingly coincidental perfect mark given by the site -- its irrefutably tainted with an X deal, a quid pro quo, a scratch my back scratch your back milieu. You can’t blame independent journalists from crying foul and arguing this unethical practice. However, even how unfortunate it may be, its the status quo -- and this is not only in the realms of videogame journalism but other industries as well. Thats right, believe it or not, its an accepted industry practice.

Disappointing for those who faithfully read reviews and features thinking that their beloved journalists put the readers' welfare first -- that they would, beyond any doubt, conduct a no bullshit, no spin take on product reviews and other journalistic content whatever it may be.

Indeed, its disheartening that ethical journalism, as is anything ethical in this world’s simply too few and far between. Accept it and eventually apathy sets in and it’d ‘be another day in paradise’ for all of us. Such is the case of our country, our state, our people -- apparently, we excel too well on our execution.


Anonymous said...

the controversial business ethics paradox. can ethics really exist in business?

it would really suck if the game doesn't truly merit that perfect 10 rating. i'd read independent reviews first before i bring that game to the checkout counter.

Anonymous said...

maybe GTA 4 really deserved the perfect rating? A lot of gaming sites like 1up and gamespot gave it a near perfect mark...

Anonymous said...

I agree that MAYBE GTA IV deserved the rating, still, you can't deny the possibility. And c'mon, why IGN? why not 1up or gamespot?

And if you saw gamespot during the GTA release. They got the game advertised throughout the site! Talk about a high profile client! Gotta SERVICE the client they paid big bucks for the spaces and what better way to service em' by giving the client's game a good mark. Nuf said!

Anonymous said...

GTA sux!!!!!