IGN Nintendo editor married to Nintendo PR exec

Golin Harris and IGNMaybe situations that appear to be huge conflicts of interest are unavoidable, but there always seem to be better ways of handling things. This was the case with Gamespot’s recent Eidos vs. Gerstmann debacle, where the company seemingly allowed itself to be strong-armed by the Kane & Lynch publisher. Now it’s the games industry’s other super-publication’s turn, as IGN has made a questionable decision regarding full disclosure of certain facts to their readers.

Matt Cassamassina is the editor-in-chief of IGN’s Nintendo team, and personally covers much of the Nintendo-related content on the site, including reviews and other subjective material. Video Game Media Watch has recently come forth with an article revealing Mr. Cassamassina’s marriage to Golin Harris vice president Edie Kissko. For those of you who don’t know, Gollin Harris is the firm that has handled Nintendo’s PR for many years now.

Unfortunately, the companies involved have prevented this information, which is a classic example of the term conflict of interest, from becoming available to the website’s readership. This is not to accuse Cassamassina or IGN of any dishonest reporting or acquisition of inside information, because "confidentiality agreements" have reportedly been signed between the two individuals and their respective employers, but it is hard to accept – especially by readers who feel they have been kept in the dark on a relatively important matter – that absolutely no spill-over has occurred between the PR and journalistic halves of this relationship.

Cassamassina’s response to the original article is as follows:

"While I would prefer to keep my wife and kids out of the public spotlight, the fact that Edie and I have been happily married for several years is no secret. Nintendo and IGN / FOX have been aware of our relationship since we first started dating. We’re professionals. Both of us have signed strict confidentiality agreements with our respective employers and, incidentally, we leave what happens on the job at our home’s front door.

The original article makes the suggestion that my marriage to Edie violates the trust of IGN’s dedicated readership, but I think my body of work speaks for itself. Over the years, I have remained one of Nintendo’s biggest fans and harshest critics and have also developed hundreds of reliable of sources within the industry, none of them Edie."

While I’m not one to question the integrity of a journalist who has given me no apparent reason to do so, I will say that IGN could have handled the issue in much better fashion – that is, in an honest and up-front manner. The publication should have simply let its readers know the facts in the first place, without all the investigation.



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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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