PS3 News: Jaffe Rips On Opinion In Journalism, We Have A Response - PS3 News

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Jaffe Rips On Opinion In Journalism, We Have A Response

Last year, I wrote an editorial concerning video game journalists, and how they need to earn respect. Although Dave Jaffe's point is a little different in his most recent blog video, it still falls within the same realm: the lax style of reporting amongst industry journalists.

You can view the rant over at Jaffe's CriminalCrackdown blog, and as avid readers, you're likely to have an opinion. For my part, it's something I've been screaming about for several years, but obviously, it took someone of Jaffe's visibility to bring the issue closer to the limelight. First of all, let me get this out of the way right now: I've been guilty of providing opinion in what should be straight-up news posts, but before I address that, let me also say that we will often place opinion pieces under "News" and not "Special Features," which is something we have to change. We just need a category for specific pieces like that - not every Op-Ed article we do can be considered a major feature, which is why we place it in the News column - and we understand this has caused confusion in the past. This here, for example, is listed under "News," even though it deserves a more accurate position on the site. Now, as for the part about putting opinion into news...

I will say that at no point will we bend the truth, issue half the facts, or purposely misquote a source simply for the sake of some hidden agenda. Our only agenda is to provide our readers with PlayStation-related news on a timely basis, and that means you'll see plenty of updates every single day. At the end of the news article, I will occasionally toss in a personal opinion; how I view the news, what impact I think it will have, etc. I am well aware that this is a cardinal sin of news reporting; let's not forget that I worked in newspapers for several years, and I quickly learned that news reporters aren't allowed to have an opinion. They're not even allowed to use descriptive adjectives, unless someone else has used them first. But at the same time, while a newspaper serves a community, it isn't a community in and of itself. PSX Extreme, on the other hand, most certainly is.

Something else I never did with the papers is issue very personal articles to allow the readers access to my life. I took a risk in doing that even here, but in building a community where people interact with each other on a daily basis, I figured it was worth the risk. Jaffe says that simply because the reporting is on the Internet, this shouldn't change how game journalists report the news. We will agree and respectfully disagree with this statement. At its core, news is always news, and I believe we uphold the solid tradition and integrity of reporting. Yes, we will add a little flavor of our own, but it never hampers the facts, and it certainly never replaces the facts. It's as if the reporter in a newspaper wrote his article as he normally would, than simply slipped in a few lines of his own perspective at the end. We find nothing wrong with that, especially when there's a living, breathing community that drives our site. It's not just a readership; it's a social arrangement of sorts.

This being the case, we believe this alters the situation a bit. So while we certainly agree with the foundation of Jaffe's argument, I just wanted to add this as a little addendum. Okay, it's too long to be considered "little," but...well, you get what I mean. ;)

3/5/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (36 posts)

Gabriel013
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 1:06:08 AM
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Ben, after I've read the news I want to know and value your opinion. If this site when the way of national newspaper FACT ONLY then I'd lose interest as the connection between writer and reader would be lost.

You guys are more than a name at the bottom of a news item and imo that's a very good thing.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 1:16:10 AM

That's exactly my point. If we want our readers, we had best interact with them; show them that real, accessible people are behind what's written here.

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Phoelix
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 2:05:25 AM

I appreciate that your journalism has the energy that your opinions provide. And your time investment in interacting with us is also one of the reasons why I like PSXE.

The main reason, though, is what it should be: the news is here, the reviews are up and unbiased, and there's not a bunch of other distractions in the way of that.

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Random_Steve
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 4:01:29 AM

i think the best thing about PSXE is the comment section. Sometimes i skip the article and just read the comments. (i dont post any until i have read it tho). Also, i like the fact that Ben and Arnold contribute to the comments. :)

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FxTales
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 1:19:07 AM
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That Dave sounds like a bit of a toss pot anyway.

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Godslim
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 5:17:31 AM

true i saw i vid of him i didnt like him at all

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Orvisman
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 9:54:59 AM

He makes good games though.

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Strifewind
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 1:49:39 AM
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I love how the writers here provide the news. It's not bland, yet it is delivered to the point. And I find that "adding a little flavor of your own" is terrific, especially when I hold the same opinions...

Most of the Square Enix articles that you (Ben) have written include some statements like "I'm just going to have to conclude that Square-Enix is voluntarily abandoning PS3 owners this generation", or "Obviously, if anything big arrives - 'cough FFVII remake or sequel 'cough' - we'll be sure to tell you." And I either agree with you (which makes me feel not alone), chuckle, or (if I don't agree with you), just move onto the next article.

So just keep things coming as they are. Though Jaffe makes some good points, I don't think that they necessarily apply to how or what the staff here at PSX Extreme writes their articles.

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rell
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 6:56:09 AM

Its those damn other journalists sites, I hate game gamespot, I don't like ign, I hate destructoid, I hate edge, I like gampro I also like psextreme thats good we got journalists who communicate with the community and not a have to many console flame war arguments . I say gamespot got the worst console flame war site ever made thats a troll paradise , and some those sites piss me off. Theres lack of mods control. No interact with the community because they got there heads up where there sun don't shine.

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Doosharm
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 2:02:27 AM
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In my opinion... the problem does not lie in the addition of opinion in an article but the skewing of fact to fit that opinion.

I don't think you can accurately report on a game in either a 100% factual way or a 100% unbiased way, nor should you. What I want is the facts as they exist, your unbiased and honest interpretation of those facts, and then your honest opinion of your experience. In that way I can make the best, most well infomed decision as to whether or not I want to purchase a game. Afterall, video games are an emotional experience. If you fail to report your opinion of the experience you fail to report on one of the most important parts of the game.

Sure there are other gaming articles that don't benefit from opinion but they don't exactly suffer either as long as the opinion is interjected responsibly. If anything they just help to keep the fact based articles entertaining. Sure you could just tell me that game X is coming out on day Y but wouldn't it be more fun to state the facts and then go on about how game X may be the game that will tip the console wars, or how it will be the best in the franchise, or just how psyched you are that its FINALLY coming out?

I think so. Journalism without opinion would be pretty lame.

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Belazor
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 6:50:35 AM

This person speaks the truth.

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 2:03:40 AM
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Any person with an ounce of common sense can tell the difference between someone's opinion and fact. People don't just want the news they come back for the personal accounts given by the writer. I can identify with many of your views Ben and even the ones I don't keep me coming back because you interest me. There are thousands of game news sites out there but many just post the news, you add your 2 cents and it creates conversation and keeps everyone interested. This guy sounds like a tool with nothing better to do than create an argument.

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Scarecrow
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 2:06:44 AM
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psxextreme.com tells it like it is, that's all I care 'bout.

Thought I agree with Jaffe though, sites like Kotaku who will on purpose create inflammatory articles with an agenda in mind are the ones which do a disservice to the gaming community.

Then you get sites like Gamestop getting paid by companies for good reviews.

Then other sites who will purposely give a great game a really bad score to gain or satisfy a fanboy audience.

The big gaming websites like IGN, 1up, Gamestop need to be exposed if you ask me.

I am almost sure some of the game get bribed(Gamestop), or pressured(by networking with some companies and getting exclusive content before other sites).

There's too much dirty work and agendas behind the bigger gaming sites. And then even worse dirty play between the smaller ones who give bad scores to get a fanboy crowd.

psextreme.com for me, all the way!

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Random_Steve
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 4:03:46 AM

dont you mean gamespot?

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Jed
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 2:19:06 AM
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If every journalist reported the trouth, the whole trouth and nothing but the trouth, then we would only need one outlet for news.

The fact that each journalist brings a little bit of them selves to their stories is why we have so many different outlets.

If I was just looking for the latest playstation news, I could find that anywhere. But we enjoy your input and opinions, and the other features of the site that are not just "the news"

On PSXE it is easy to tell the difference between your take on things, and the things that are fact.

*OFF TOPIC*

I just saw a killzone tv commercial for the first time. Sony fails to advertise again.

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chicko1983
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 3:02:45 AM
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I totally agree with Jaffe.

However, I think this site is the best site in terms of the authors keeping their opinion away from reporting the news as well as no hidden agendas.

Keep up the good work PSXE!

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JohnnyGold
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 6:11:33 AM
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ben, in your articles, your opinion is clearly stated as such. IN MY OPINION, ign is guilty of this to the utmost degree. their "news" stories are often underhanded insults of the ps3. a few days ago they posted a story on the ps3 page that the 360 was the highest selling console in japan for the month of january. the story had nothing to do with the ps3, it was flame bait.

video games are a bigger industry than hollywood, they are the dominant entertainment medium in the country, and it seems and feels like its 12 year old fan boys commentating on it. rumors are treated like fact, fact is presented subjectively, most of the writing is at a high school level.

the art form will never be respected as such, until the community that surrounds it learns to police itself.

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chaosrunner
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 10:08:12 AM
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I know that when I started regularly reading PSXE, I engaged Ben in a short discussion via email regarding, among other things, matters of journalism and opinion. That helped make the community aspect of the site more personal for me and I don't believe that harms the journalistic side in any way.

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shaydey77
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 10:29:48 AM
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without opinions you wouldnt get comments and views back so im glad they are there.

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JasperLoons
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 10:57:43 AM
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Keep doing what you're doing Ben. I keep coming here because I respect and enjoy your articles, so feel free to throw in some personal opinions now and then.

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bustin98
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 11:19:46 AM
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With previous posts you have admitted that this site is meant to be an extension of the Sony hype machine. Not that its a bad position to be in. Each gaming console has its fanbase and fan sites.

So carry on with what you're doing. As long as you are true to your mission and true to your readership.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 11:27:29 AM

Um...I don't recall EVER saying this site had anything whatsoever to do with hype or promotion. In fact, I've only said just the opposite.

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kidgrid
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 12:07:59 PM

Hey this sounds like the video on jaffe's site. Words in your mouth Ben+ his opinion. lol

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bustin98
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 1:14:47 PM

Here's a quote for you:

----------------------------

It's called generating excitement for a promising title. This is how gaming journalism - and any other sort of entertainment journalism, really - WORKS. It's called looking ahead.

And the point is not that Twisted Metal itself is completely original, but that the gameplay is different from most anything else out there. I could've sworn I made that clear.

-----------------------------------

Isn't 'generating excitement' the same thing as hype? I'm not trying to tear you down over it or anything. I read plenty of sites that blur the line. I'm just saying.

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Aftab
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 2:43:31 PM

There's a difference between "generating excitement" for a PROMISING title, and being a part of the "Sony hype machine" as you put it, or hype in general. If somehow the reviews here were skewed in favor of ps3 titles over the 360 counterparts (which doesn't apply as only ps3 games are reviewed here), or if the review scores of Sony products here were embellished (and "Motorstorm 2: Pacifac Rift" showed the contrary), then perhaps that quote you referred to would not be out of context. Again, I'm not trying to tear you down over it, too, or anything. But, if the lines seem blurry, then perhaps you should look a bit closer before calling someone out.

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bustin98
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 3:28:47 PM

Hype is hype. I'm not saying that reviews of poor games are going to get glossed over so you don't have to put those words in my mouth.

If Twisted Metal is released and it plays like sh** I'd expect that the reviews here would accurately reflect it. That is not what hype is all about.

And this site is part of the Sony hype machine because you don't see any articles for products released exclusively on other consoles. Not saying that Sony actively has a part of the site or is in any way affiliated. Just that its a fan-based site for all things gaming in the Sony Universe.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 3:32:22 PM

I don't think you're getting it. Simply because we focus on the PlayStation brand and don't report on anything exclusive to Nintendo or Microsoft doesn't automatically make us a part of the "hype machine." That's completely unfair.

If we were any such thing, you'd never see any negative articles at all, and that most certainly is NOT the case.

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Aftab
Friday, March 06, 2009 @ 12:11:04 AM

"Hype" is called so, more or less, because it is unwarranted. But, I suspect your condescending allegation isn't a response to being disappointed because of "hype" from psxextreme as it is just from being an embittered reader from the past. Ben is very attentive, forbearing, and generous with his time to each individual of the vast and growing readership here at psxextreme, which is unheard of anywhere else on the internet. He also has a good memory for them, too. Try not to abuse that.

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kidgrid
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 11:20:42 AM
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Ben is right. the thing that makes this site, is the personal feel behind it. I am not interested in a article wrote by some elitist who thinks he is better than i am because he gets paid to write about games. I don't want to watch videos of these jagoffs playing these games. I like to see the game and make my own decision. I also don't like endless flame wars over everything with no one doing anything about it. Thats why I became a member here and deleted my others. that and you get the news so dang fast Ben.

Last edited by kidgrid on 3/5/2009 11:22:31 AM

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rell
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 2:14:15 PM

@kidgrid I agree with u Im tired of that flamming that goes on those other site its like its no end to the bashing, I think the ps3 has so much hate its ridiculous. what happen to gamers just enjoying there games.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 12:12:44 PM
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The reason I like this site is the same reason I watch "Countdown" on MSNBC, it reports rock solid facts, but follows them to their logical conclusion. This is accomplished by Ben, Arnold, and John in a way that, if perhaps partially biased, at least can hardly be logically argued with since any reasonable person can infer the simplest things from the plainest facts.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/5/2009 12:14:19 PM

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AceTatsujin
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 12:36:19 PM
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Ben and Jaffe are both correct. Lets shake hands and shoot the other bad websites. Get your K2 weapons ready, aim ... FIRE!!!

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rell
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 2:16:31 PM

give me the rocket launcher, lol

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BikerSaint
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 3:07:05 PM
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@Ben, Arnold, and that other guy("Sometimes John),

No worrys about this site, we've got your 6!

You always try to keep it real, & also are pretty good on "troll watch" too(except for that that 1 that keeps managing to slip under the radar). Anyways, "just keep doing what you're doing", it's all "Grade A US Prime".

Damn, I don't know why, but suddenly I just wanna broil up a nice rare juicy 2" sirloin!

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Robochic
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 8:28:46 PM
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I come to this site cause the of the views and the articles are true and catch my attention. Nothing ever boring. Keep up the good work guys.
@ bikersaint after reading u're comment now i want a 2" sirloin LOL.

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BikerSaint
Friday, March 06, 2009 @ 9:24:55 PM
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@Robochic
Mine went down just fine with a touch of A-1 sauce.
Hoping your's came out just the way you wanted it too, LOL

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