Multimedia for Social Change

Journalism and Gaming (Meghan)
September 15, 2009, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Reflections

I just survived another discussion on objectivity. I suppose I consider myself an outsider, skeptic, and anti-consumer of traditional journalism. Does the universal hope that “objectivity” will establish trust and loyalty in readership still exist? As far as my readings show, “objectivity” only alienates audiences… at least younger audiences, myself included, who have long given up on “the voice” and thus appreciate the honest transparency of slated journalism.

The problem lies in the fact that news corporations still refuse to label themselves as one side or the other. I suppose they seek to escape being plunked into the ‘fanatic category’ but lets face it – I find the fanatics a bit more honest than ‘honest’ journalists. Eek, that was an overly heretical statement… I don’t mean to spit on the deeply seeded efforts of numerous trustworthy servants. I’m just not sure any of them still exist in mainstream media. Okay, enough –

The discussion, which I referred to above, revolved around a game created by USC faculty member, Nonny de la Pena. The game is an interactive immersion into the world of Guantanamo Bay (from an argued human rights perspective). ‘Lack of objectivity’ was the first and only point of conversation in the 15 minute Q&A. Yet, I find the arguments to be premature and close-minded in the definition of ‘what is journalism.’

Firstly, will this game be released by the New York Times? Or will it be released through a gaming company, a museum, or independently by the creator (who has a history in human rights journalism)? The stamp on the packaging is what we should be looking at. I’m also wondering if an online news organization would host something so technologically vast? My initial thought would be ‘no’ although they may reference it in the future like a library. Secondly, is there a way to be both a creative and an objective journalist? Is there a way to work for two different corporations – traditional and non-conventional? Until I found USC’s specialized journalism program, I was told to keep my dual background under wraps – sad. Lastly, in connecting this idea to museums – what about war memorials? -Are they slanted journalism? Besides the interactive interface, how is this game different than something you’d find in brass or under glass in Washington DC? But then again, I find A Chorus Line to be journalism too…

So much for my semantics… to quote Gershwin: Tomato – Tomato, let’s call the whole thing off!