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Newsweek, video games and Jack Thompson

Filed under: Video Game Politics
Posted by Allison on May 1, 2006 3:10 PM
Comments (0) |

A new trend we've been watching in the realm of mainstream media is an effort to include video game news in its publications. One would think this would be exciting for those of us in the video game industry, as exposure to mainstream audiences should be a good thing. However, the problems of the mainstream media and its laziness and inability to report the truth when it comes to the really big issues (WMDs, I'm looking at you), has trickled down to how they report video games.

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Usually I save my ire for my own hometown paper, which syndicates an often trite and thoughtless gaming column every Friday. What's more, that gaming column is usually slapped next to a list of video game release dates which is rarely accurate (months off, at times). However, there's a difference between a columnist whom I believe is doing the gaming industry a disservice, and actual news reporters who do so. It's fine if I disagree with a columnist. In fact, it's expected. What is not acceptable and not expected is for me to open up the most recent copy of Newsweek and see Jack Thompson quoted as a reliable source.

I'd expect most Lunabean readers to know the name "Jack Thompson" immediately. For those of you who aren't familiar with the anti-video game ambulance chasing attorney, you can catch up on all Lunabean news regarding the man and his many lawsuits here.

It's not expected that every gamer know who Jack Thompson is. However, it is expected that any video game reporter, particularly one who writes for a publication as highly regarded as Newsweek, knows that Jack Thompson should never be the go to guy when it comes to the video game industry. When the very conservative and controversial National Institute on Media and the Family severs ties with the man because of his attack tactics, this man should not be portrayed as a reliable source.

I am left to believe that the reporter of this really, really bad article did what so many reporters do today, and that's do little, if any, research on their sources, and opted to publish the sensational over the facts.

Thanks for the effort, Newsweek, but if this is the kind of crap you're going to publish about video games, and if this is an example of the amount of effort you put into such articles, keep them to yourself. It's clear your reporters don't want to be writing them anyway.

If you'd like to stop the mainstream media from using Mr. Thompson as a source, politely write the publications and tell them what you know. You may contact Newsweek at Letters@newsweek.com.









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