Re: Dingman / Palermo
bonegolem Feb 28th, 2016 (edited) 413 Never
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- First of all, thanks a lot for the through, exhaustive, informative reply. It's a breath of fresh air when I see journalists taking these issues head-on, when for such a long time such a large part of the press would've just replied with an accusation of harassment. If all journalists were like you, I'd never have started DeepFreeze in the first place.
- It was very interesting to read your take.
- With your permission, I'd like a quick digression about crawl-Twitter and DF in general, since you do pose an interesting issue.
- I've always said that a huge mistake I made with DF was making it person-focused rather than outlet-focused. Because, to be honest: I feel very weird saying "this journalist is corrupt".
- Once, I even talked to an EiC, and when I brought up a journalist working under him as a bad example, I DIDN'T FEEL COMFORTABLE NAMING HIM. I said "a journalist".
- A journalist whose PUBLIC DF PAGE would make a Yuggoloth blush. A rep-sheet that I WROTE MYSELF. Absurd.
- But, while "this journalist is corrupt" is not something I like saying, you know what I *do* feel comfortable saying? "Game journalism is corrupt". I'll say it, I'll repeat it, I'll scream it.
- There's overwhelming direct and indirect evidence of this corruption.
- The plethora of titles that get lavishly praised by the press and then demolished by gamers later—often, with said games getting called entitled because they're upset Mass Effect 3 had a disaster of an ending or Diablo 3 refused to function at launch.
- The absurd number of PR/journo pressure scandals that have arisen through the years, starting with the Gerstamann thing that demolished my trust in games journalism forever and continuing with an absurd amount of cases, from Driv3rgate to the Stanton interview, from the Eidos pressuring journos to Doritosgate.
- I could go on. Long. Very, very, very long. Articles on DF have sometimes over 200 links in 'em. I don't want to go on a tangent here. But one of the stops on that tangent would be the cliquish, incestuous relationship between journalists on one side, devs and PR on the other, dug by friend @BoogiePopRobin (who did not make this dig specifically, though--you misread part of the top) and others.
- You and Palermo have—I believe that we can agree—the appearance of a conflict of interest.
- Is it, as DeepFreeze says, an issue that affects your credibility (that's what we cover—not "ethics", there's a subtle difference)? I'd say a good argument can be made for "no".
- Your story about having struggled with this decision, and having erred on the side of caution in other circumstances, sounds very believable to me, and—as every person who has actually worked in his life—I can testify that errors are, more often than an indication of incompetence, an indication of actually having done work.
- But look at the stuff these diggers have found. Mostly gathered here: http://www.deepfreeze.it/article.php?a=unfair (while this badly-in-need-of-updates article currently lists two erroneous CoIs, on Hernandez and Alexander, that I've since unfiled, it's also lacking a huge amount of new ones I filed).
- Journos with four, five, ten, FIFTEEN CoIs.
- Some people getting promoted by journos they're in a personal relationship with three, four, SIX times.
- Journalists covering each other while supporting each other on Patreon.
- Well, you might disagree with some of these… but it'll be "I don't think it's a big deal" disagreement, I'm pretty confident the effort to provide evidence is very apparent.
- It's extremely evident that this corruption is there, I feel. And "crawl-Twitter" is what discovered it. You mentioned a few people you said you couldn't cover—think on it, how many of the people you wouldn't feel comfortable covering have a twitter footprint? You feel I am exaggerating when I say that I feel that, for every CoI that is caught by "crawl-Twitter", there are at least two more that can't be found out this way?
- True, I can't prove that someone actually IS or ISN'T friendly with someone else. I don't have a time machine to visit 2014 Frisco, and if I did I would use it to visit sixteenth-century Stratford-Upon-Avon, so I could fuck Shakespeare. We have to go with *appearance* of CoIs—and even more arbitrary *appearance* of Sensationalism, Dishonesty etcetera.
- I can't dismiss stuff too easily. A lot of these journalists with fifteen entries have started off with a single CoI, too. And this is actually already part of a series, as I received multiple entries for journos accused of being on friendly terms with Palermo. A lot of times a CoI got posted on Reddit and one of the comments expanded on it.
- So where does that leave us? To be honest, I don't know. I don't want to file minor issues and pollute my site with so-so things, diminishing some huge problems that I feel are filed there. And, since I have received very straight replies from other journos involved in "Palermogate" aside from you, I'm kind of unsure.
- I'll delay these Palermo things for a bit while I sleep on it and hear some opinions—I run an archive, not a blog, I have no haste.
- Since you've been kind enough to reply, and generous enough to do so in such an exhaustive manner, I'll inform you on our decisions before I do anything.
- Unrelated, but about disclosure: a lot of people ask me. I'm the worst person you could ask to, I'm a graphic designer, I have no idea what I'm doing—DF operates on certain rules, but I'll change them if I feel that they're inadequate and cascade on every entry. Don't fuckin add disclosures according to the rules of the site of one Italian fuck and his 25 readers.
- One thing that has kind of always baffled me a little, though, is that a lot of people seem to believe that disclosing is something shameful. I never understood that. I'm not so sure I'm right (@BoogiePopRobin also agrees that it's shameful, and he's always a lot smarter and insightful than me), but I don't see how that can be. A disclosure can be redundant, if you disclose your relationship with someone you're just being exhaustive, like the cookie packaging that warns you because there could be trace amounts of peanuts. I have a couple of disclosures on my site that I feel are basically just saying "I don't actually have a relationship with this person, but I'm mentioning it anyway because some people might infer I do". It has been proven that when you do everything right, you don't get as much satisfaction in the customer as you would if you screwed up but got things fixed properly.
- Well, sorry about the rant.
- Do watch Death Rally 2000 with friends if you get a chance. Me and my friends laughed like monkeys.
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