Disturbing trend in news articles

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  • GreasyWeasel 16 Jun 2011 14:40:04 463 posts
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    I read a number of other gaming related sites as well as Eurogamer but I've been wondering lately if anyone else has noticed the disturbing trend of gaming news websites putting attention grabbing headlines up with a '?' after them and then the whole article is pure speculation based on no real facts?

    Is this just a tactic to try and get extra click throughs for advertising revenue or simply a general laziness from journalists who can't be bothered to check their facts and sources?

    I feel like I've read a number of articles like this recently and in my opinion makes going to these sites less valuable to me since I can get hearsay and speculation from the rest of the internet.

    I'm interested in what other people think.
  • Pike 16 Jun 2011 14:41:50 13,446 posts
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    I think newspapers have done that shit regularly since the newspaper business started. It's annoying and often dishonest, but it's really not a new trend. It's actually a classic staple of tabloid journalism, I'd say.
  • thedaveeyres 16 Jun 2011 14:43:03 10,855 posts
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    You know what's disturbing? Tight jeans on men.

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  • Dolly 16 Jun 2011 14:43:11 3,221 posts
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    Maybe someone swapped the . and ? keys on their keyboards?
  • X201 16 Jun 2011 14:43:22 15,254 posts
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    Packet of Jaffas for the first mod who adds ? to the thread title :)
  • GreasyWeasel 16 Jun 2011 14:43:58 463 posts
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    Yeah and that's one reason I don't read tabloids. I don't want the same to happen to sites that used to provide valuable and interesting articles on a subject I love.
  • GreasyWeasel 16 Jun 2011 14:44:56 463 posts
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    X201 wrote:
    Packet of Jaffas for the first mod who adds ? to the thread title :)

    I did consider doing that myself just for the laugh ;)
  • Khanivor 16 Jun 2011 14:51:42 40,520 posts
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    At least it means you're not reading a regurgitated press release, which makes for an unusual experience.
  • Eraserhead 16 Jun 2011 14:58:19 57 posts
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    Just apply the old rule that the answer to any editorial 'question' ("Is this the end of British life as we know it?", "GTA 5 to be announced next month?") is always "No."
  • Zerobob 16 Jun 2011 15:00:46 1,605 posts
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    This happens on all news-based sites more and more.

    Due to the purely speculative nature of these articles they're found in the 'Magazine' section of the BBC News site, for example. Not sure if that should go for gaming sites though. Gaming sites are sort of online magazines anyway, where as the BBC has a primary duty to report the news to license payers.

    What annoys me, especially about the BBC, is when their out-of-touch team finally pick up on popular debate which started elsewhere 6 months ago. Next week I'm sure they are going to do an article on whether the Nintendo Wii has revolutionised motion control in gaming.

    That article the BBC ran about Facebook losing users annoyed me this week.

    a) Who cares?

    b) It will only be of minor consequence to advertisers on the site, if at all.

    c) How does anybody but Facebook even know this?

    d) The article can only serve to damage Facebook, so why run it? Facebook has always relied on word of mouth and user-confidence.
  • Aimless 16 Jun 2011 15:17:50 1 posts
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    I'd say it's something of a side effect of Eurogamer trying to make their news section more current, as in the past it was often criticised for being tardy in its reporting. You're bound to see a net drop in quality when embarking on such a venture, and given the baseline worth of almost all video game news to begin with...

    Whilst I certainly wouldn't say no to every article being well considered and without spin, for the most part people are going to read who's reporting things first, not who's doing it best. And ultimately hits and clicks aren't about raking in the millions so much as allowing staff to do pieces that are actually interesting, both for them and for us, such as features and interviews which are the reason I bother coming to Eurogamer in the first place.

    Basically video game news isn't very interesting, but moaning about how rubbish and biased it is gives us something to do whilst waiting on things that require a greater time investment.
  • GreasyWeasel 16 Jun 2011 15:27:12 463 posts
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    I disagree, video games news can be very interesting and I'm not just talking about Eurogamer here.

    I just don't want to see Eurogamer try to compete with the blog news sites and post every rumour going in the hope that they break a story first. Eurogamer do great indepth articles, interviews and original video and I understand the need for advertising revenue but I don't want them to start selling themselve short.
  • thelzdking 16 Jun 2011 15:42:40 4,367 posts
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    It's a phenomenon as old as journalism itself.
  • thelzdking 16 Jun 2011 15:42:42 4,367 posts
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    Post deleted
  • Tonka 16 Jun 2011 15:48:40 20,202 posts
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    Could a mod please re name this thread "are gaming sites money grubbing whores?"

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • Bertie Senior Staff Writer, Eurogamer.net 16 Jun 2011 15:49:42 1,751 posts
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    Hi!

    I'm not fond of question mark headlines but to not use one gives the impression we're stating the headline as fact. If we feel a rumour-type story is exciting enough and solid enough to report on then a question mark is almost always appropriate.

    Given our space constraint, we can't always fit "-report" or "Rumour:" et al in. That you instantly recognise what a question mark signifies on those stories show it's quickly understood.

    Just to quickly reiterate: we do try and verify or "stand up" rumour stories. We try to never blindly repost a rumour doing the rounds. If you're reading a rumour-based story on Eurogamer it's because we think that rumour is true or has strong backing. Often we've heard something behind closed doors but can't talk about it, then another site hears something that tallies with that and so we run their rumour.

    We don't want to go the way of blogs - we want to offer a different voice. We always try and act with integrity whether that comes across or not.

    Anyway, thought you might like a little perspective on this from our point of view. Hope that's helped in some way.
  • cianchristopher 16 Jun 2011 15:52:57 6,360 posts
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    Have you heard the rumour about Bobby Kotick and the gerbil?

    Print it, Bertie - go on!!!
  • mrpon 16 Jun 2011 15:54:17 28,742 posts
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    Armageddon!

    Give yourself 5 or gig, you're worth it.

  • MrTomFTW Moderator 16 Jun 2011 15:54:38 37,766 posts
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    Rich and compelling.

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  • GreasyWeasel 16 Jun 2011 15:56:47 463 posts
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    Cheers Bertie, thanks for the clarification. I also want to make it very clear that I wasn't specifically targeting Eurogamer and feel that you are one of the least offending sites.

    I obviously understand the reason for reporting on rumour from time to time but am also very glad to hear that you aren't trying to go after the blog style sites.
  • Shikasama 16 Jun 2011 15:57:38 6,742 posts
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    Bertie wrote:
    Hi!

    I'm not fond of question mark headlines but to not use one gives the impression we're stating the headline as fact. If we feel a rumour-type story is exciting enough and solid enough to report on then a question mark is almost always appropriate.

    Given our space constraint, we can't always fit "-report" or "Rumour:" et al in. That you instantly recognise what a question mark signifies on those stories show it's quickly understood.

    Just to quickly reiterate: we do try and verify or "stand up" rumour stories. We try to never blindly repost a rumour doing the rounds. If you're reading a rumour-based story on Eurogamer it's because we think that rumour is true or has strong backing. Often we've heard something behind closed doors but can't talk about it, then another site hears something that tallies with that and so we run their rumour.

    We don't want to go the way of blogs - we want to offer a different voice. We always try and act with integrity whether that comes across or not.

    Anyway, thought you might like a little perspective on this from our point of view. Hope that's helped in some way.

    Does that contribute to the often noted point that so many EG articles seem to be copied (or not copied, but sourced) from other popular websites? Because you are responding to their rumour rather than post it yourself?

    Also, while you are in here (REGRET!) when one of your sources is wrong, do you take future rumours with a pinch of salt/are you less likely to repeat it even if another site carries it? First one that springs to mind is the story you posted about GT5 going to be delayed again a couple of days before it was actually in the shops.
  • jambii267 16 Jun 2011 16:00:15 1,366 posts
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    Eurogamer is awesome.

    NNID: Jambii267 PSN: Dr-Jambii 3DS: 0216-0806-8561

  • Deleted user 16 June 2011 16:03:02
    Is this thread a barely veiled complaint about EG's bias against Sony? Seeing a lot of that nonsense in the comments threads from the usual morons.
  • GreasyWeasel 16 Jun 2011 16:08:45 463 posts
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    zm26 wrote:
    Is this thread a barely veiled complaint about EG's bias against Sony? Seeing a lot of that nonsense in the comments threads from the usual morons.

    Since I don't know what you are talking about, I'd say the answer is no. :)
  • jablonski 16 Jun 2011 16:11:15 3,753 posts
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    Bertie wrote:
    Hi!

    I'm not fond of question mark headlines but to not use one gives the impression we're stating the headline as fact. If we feel a rumour-type story is exciting enough and solid enough to report on then a question mark is almost always appropriate.

    Given our space constraint, we can't always fit "-report" or "Rumour:" et al in. That you instantly recognise what a question mark signifies on those stories show it's quickly understood.

    Just to quickly reiterate: we do try and verify or "stand up" rumour stories. We try to never blindly repost a rumour doing the rounds. If you're reading a rumour-based story on Eurogamer it's because we think that rumour is true or has strong backing. Often we've heard something behind closed doors but can't talk about it, then another site hears something that tallies with that and so we run their rumour.

    We don't want to go the way of blogs - we want to offer a different voice. We always try and act with integrity whether that comes across or not.

    Anyway, thought you might like a little perspective on this from our point of view. Hope that's helped in some way.

    Cheers for the clarification.
    But I really wish EG would stop routinely going back to Michael Pachter for a cheap headline.
    He swings for a lot of balls and sometimes connects. But not often.
  • thedaveeyres 16 Jun 2011 16:13:34 10,855 posts
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    jablonski wrote:
    Cheers for the clarification.
    But I really wish EG would stop routinely going back to Michael Pachter for a cheap headline.
    He swings for a lot of balls and sometimes connects. But not often.

    Pachter big on the cruising scene, confirmed.

    D****** ******r

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  • jablonski 16 Jun 2011 16:15:01 3,753 posts
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    He must be good at something
  • ronuds 16 Jun 2011 16:18:13 21,788 posts
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    His predictions have actually been better lately. A couple years ago they were horrific, though.

    But then, he probably does much better than most other 50-year-olds would at predicting video game trends.
  • wyp100 Staff 16 Jun 2011 16:19:18 7 posts
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    jablonski wrote:
    Cheers for the clarification.
    But I really wish EG would stop routinely going back to Michael Pachter for a cheap headline.
    He swings for a lot of balls and sometimes connects. But not often.

    Thanks for your feedback guys, always appreciated.

    On this point, we tend not to run news stories based on a single analyst opinion. We will run stories based off of at least three analyst opinions.

    However, this may differ when an analyst claims to know something - not predict - but know, either because he or she has been told it or understands it to be the case.

    For example, if Pachter told us he has been told by Activision that the next Call of Duty is set in space and includes orks and a guitar hero, that would be appropriate.

    Hope this helps,

    Wesley
  • jablonski 16 Jun 2011 16:55:56 3,753 posts
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    Cheers Wesley.
    You don't have to answer this, but it interests me.
    Do you have to pay the likes of Pachter for a quote?
    Being an analyst, his knowledge/opinion is how he earns money I would have thought, and I don't see how he benefits giving it to you for free (unless it's exposure)
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