Syp writes a pretty good bit on the similarities and differences on bloggers and journalists. This comes in the wake of Massively’s death and the phoenix rise of Massively OP (Kickstarter 100%+ funded!) when many are asking do we even need MMO journalists? Syp writes:
So I see press as being more focused on delivering news and opinion content and being as inclusive as possible with the genre, while also having a higher standard of quality and editorial oversight. However, there is one even greater reason why press is important, which is that it aids in giving the MMO industry/games industry legitimacy.
I think this is pretty correct on average. Bloggers are often times just musing. They often shoot from the hip (‘cus cowboys). But then, I’ve seen blog posts that are so hyperfocused that an MMO professional journalist simply wouldn’t have the time or knowledge for. Syp himself plays a half-dozen MMOs at a time.
As far as “challenging the studios” and being “useful intermediaries”, I feel that MMO journalists are getting better. There’s still an awful lot of softballs and lack of follow-ups when a canned answer gets used. I want to point to one recent interview at MMORPG where after the Guild Wars 2 expansion announcement the interviewer really seemed to keep ArenaNet on their feet. (Also high praise to MMORPG for not making this a video!)
I want more of this feeling that MMO journalists are needed by MMO studios instead of just wanted as another line of communication.
This is where I’m going to get ugly. I’ve been offered to write at some MMO sites. I’ve turned them all down because I simply cannot destroy my love for blogging and “shooting from the hip” by turning this into a job. But, assume I had. I think I am a half-decent writer, insightful-ish, and into a few MMOs enough that I understand “things”. However, I have no training at all as a journalist. How professional would you say I would be?
I am not for an instant putting a black mark on any MMO journalist. I believe that every part of this press can be professional. I believe even MMO bloggers can be as “journalist” as they want to be. But, all of this has an effect on the interface that press usually provides. I think things are getting bettter. MMO press seems to be getting a very stable “old guard”, which is fantastic in my opinion. Hopefully it gets even better when Massively OP steps away from AOL’s … girth.