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Crisis in nomenclature

in notepad

Ottey poses a question that the media world in general is grappling with; let alone esports.

There used to be gatekeepers between you and your audience, whether it be written word, or music, or film. Chances are, you didn’t own your own printing press, or recording studio with the facilities to produce cassette tapes or vinyl records at a large scale. It was these gatekeepers that determined who was heard and who wasn’t. The line between not-journalists and journalists was very well defined because of it.

Anyone can self-publish these days and it’s blurred this line. I think this treads on the same ground as the debate over what label to apply to esports. Really, I think this speaks less about a crisis in nomenclature, than it does about a crisis in content quality; though it comes out as a dissection of the term ‘journalism.’

I think his criteria for trying to unblur this line is largely a good attempt, though I have a bone to pick about the ‘timely’ bit. Reporting on things that happen as they happen is important, but it’s also equally important that those journaling the scene can maintain a larger perspective.

Weekly shows can be journalism too; but most fall into a sort of news regurgitation or roundtable format that lack focus or a cohesive narrative. It doesn’t mean that a weekly show can’t buck those trends.

Not all insights make themselves apparent in an hour’s notice. Points of view change. If you’re crazy enough to leaf back through this blog a ways, you’ll see my opinions on quite a few things shift around as my understanding of things grows.

I suppose my conclusion is if someone who jams links and tweets on TL all day wants to call themselves a journalist, I really can’t be bothered. I’m not going to feel as though it colors what I do in a more negative light; the definition is evolving and we should let it. What they do still has value – just a different, incomparable value – and things are just fine as long as it’s not the only thing going on.