An Open Challenge to "Fair Journalism"

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Hello Journalism,

I am Jason Fanelli, one of your newest members. I’m not very happy with you right now. 

One of your media outlets, declaring itself a "fair and balanced" representative of yours, is being exactly the opposite. It has once again skewed the perception of the gaming world from one of entertainment to that of barbarism and lawlessness, breaking one of your most important rules in the process.

The first time, Mass Effect drew the ire of this establishment. This time, it is Modern Warfare 2 that is the victim. 

Both times, the game in question has a scene taken completely out of context. Both times, a nervous representative of the gaming world, unprepared for the barrage of accusations about to confront him, is made to be the fool. Both times, the gaming industry is cast in a negative light, while the other side of the argument is praised as the voice of reason.

Most alarmingly, both times, the "journalists" conducting the interview make it painfully obvious that they did not view the source material for themselves.

Is it not true that the core mantra of journalism is to know all of the relevant information in a story before reporting? Is the journalist not supposed to report the story as objectively as possible, so that those who are watching can draw their own opinions of the subject matter? These were the lessons I was taught on the road to my Broadcast Journalism degree, so then why are they not being followed in the real journalism world?

Maybe what needs to happen is that these "media outlets" need to start having the "fair and balanced" debates that they advertise. Perhaps they should start giving both sides equal time to present their side, without the talking-head host getting in the middle of it. Perhaps, and no offense to the two who stood for gaming the first two times, they should bring someone on who’s not afraid to be as vocal as possible about their stance.

Someone, perhaps, like me.

I hereby issue an open challenge to any and all "fair and balanced" news outlets. If you plan to talk about any video games on your show, and you want someone who will defend the gaming world to the best of his ability, look no further than me, Jason Fanelli of I will debate the topic to the wee hours of the morning, and I will not relent. If I were to lose the debate, rest assured I would still go down swinging.

This idea of skewing the flow of the story to support your own hidden agenda needs to end. As far as gaming is concerned, if given the chance, it will end with me.

Of course, we all know that these "journalists" don’t want someone who’s actually willing to put up a fight. They want someone that they can bully into a corner, giving them barely any chance to speak. Geoff Keighley and Jon Christensen, both fantastic gaming journalists themselves, were treated as sub-par humans for supporting that which the "fair and balanced" media outlet thought was essentially the Devil.

Rest assured, dear "journalists," that we see right through your facade. We see you for the sensational, biased, people-with-obvious-agendas-posing-as-journalists that you are. We would all love to expose you as just that, but those who are given the chance to do so are barely able to speak.

Not me. Give me the chance, and I’ll give you the debate you say you want. That is, if you actually want it.


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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

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