I'm really feeling it!

"The fact is "ethics in video game journalism" is not a topic of interest to a broad radio or online audience.

"The harassment of women in technology _is_ of wide interest"

"I planned to do a second [interview] for my radio column. My producers didn't want [to] go ahead with that topic, though."


The above quotes are from John Bowman, a social media news producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Company. After running his original piece on GamerGate, he set up an interview with game developer and digital artist Jennifer Dawe but was unable to run it because it appears that his producers simply weren't concerned about about her point of view on the subject. Despite their ostensible interest in exploring the issues facing women in tech, when a woman who didn't fit into their preconceived narrative of "Loser nerds harassing women" stepped forward to enter the discussion, her voice was ignored. CBC would go onto to continue to cover #GamerGate with other articles and videos, all with the same skew, never airing Jennifer Dawe's interview.

The unfortunate reality appears to be that the media isn't interested in the very real issues that women in technology face. Their goal is simply to paint people who play video games with as wide of a brush as possible to sew controversy and promote ideology, two goals that do not put a focus on providing you with balanced information.

Ethics in journalism isn't a glossy issue. It doesn't exactly rake in the views for companies like MSNBC and CNN who could just as easily run another story on Ferguson or Taylor Swift and make considerably more money. And ethics in gaming journalism? Well, it's understandable that they might not care considering that even some people working in the industry, like Ian Miles Cheong, editor-in-chief of Gameranx.com don't seem to care and won't even pretend to.


On the other hand, it's undeniable that death threats and doxxing, particularly when women are the victims, drive page views. Take a look at Kotaku's coverage of Felicia Day and Brianna Wu and compare the view counts to the rest of their articles and you will quickly see that there is a clear monetary interest in creating the narrative that they have chosen to cling to. Despite the dearth of evidence that anyone involved in #GamerGate was behind these threats, it simply pays to make assumptions. When it comes to Huffington Post, CNN or MSNBC, they have a limited amount of space with which to discuss the issues of video gaming and it's clear that they have motivation to present an incredibly distorted viewpoint.

That said, most of us are already aware that the mainstream media doesn't actually care about women, video games or technology. Unfortunately, the gaming media hasn't done much better. Take a look at these two paragraphs written by Jason Schreier in an article about GamerGate supporters who tracked down the Brazillian journalist who issued death threats against Anita Sarkeesian:

Members of Gamergate—an amorphous campaign that has been going on for months now—had themselves long been accused of harassing and doxxing outspoken critics including game developer Brianna Wu and actress Felicia Day


Later, in the same article:

Yet at the same time, some Gamergaters have used Twitter to facilitate a culture of fear, where speaking out against the hashtag or even just drawing their attention can lead to a flood of unwanted attention and notifications.


In the course of just a few paragraphs, he goes from properly labling as allegations as "accusations" to simply condemning #GamerGate for doxxing Felicia Day by linking it to a "culture of fear." This is becoming indicative of how the gaming media treats #Gamergate – with an ounce of healthy skepticism followed by the wholesale assumption of guilt. Further, the actual issue of harassment, which is worth investigating, is clouded when things like "a flood of unwanted attention and notifications" on twitter is construed to be harassment.


It isn't exactly "fair," but we've come to the point where the media, both mainstream and otherwise has put the onus on us to do the research and invesgitating. Their interest in the truth is limited by the frequency with which it results in pageviews. I hope you take some time today to go search out some information on your own.

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