Playstation Blacklists Kotaku for Responsible Journalism

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I once had a friend who was not only an alcoholic, but an angry alcoholic that would not only vomit all over himself, but would punch his friends and shout at them while he vomited all over them, too. Sony, you are helpful to us here at Giz. I might even say kind. But right now, as you ban sibling gaming site Kotaku, and editor Brian Crecente, from all Playstation briefings, you remind me of that friend.

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Come on, let’s get out of the gutter and go on home.

The truth is, in the world of gadget writing, PR people and editors are not working against each other. Quite the contrary. There’s a symbiotic relationship between the two factions. It’s their job to give us information, and its our job to filter it, skeptically, with as much analysis that can be mustered. The overlapping goal is to get information out to readers as quickly and accurately as possible. Hopefully by way of a scoop for Gizmodo. Usually, this is fine and good. But this time, a line has been crossed.

To Sony: I know you’ve gone to great lengths to control the information about the projects you’ve worked on. But these are your loose lips, and we’re just doing our jobs. And if you’d just look at the bigger picture, buzz is far more valuable than whatever the marketing machine can dream up. This is gossip! People love this shit. Don’t fight it. Anyhow, the damning move you’re pulling on Kotaku does nothing but alienate the press and readers you hope to win over, and confirms the rumor as having legs. Legs like a robot racehorse being jockeyed by Heidi Klum. My god, that is so sexy.

To Brian, Editor at Kotaku, and a friend and colleague: I’m proud of what you’ve done, and I don’t think you had any choice but to burn this bridge. The conditions they threw down were unacceptable. Rest easy knowing that Kotaku is fast enough that you can be on top of any story within 2 minutes of embargoes lifting. You don’t need them. But I know you did value the relationship you’d built with them over hundreds of fair posts, rumor and otherwise.

I’m sure things will fix themselves in time. Sometimes splits like these need to happen to redefine the boundaries between PR and edit. God bless the freedom of the press, even on such a silly topic as gadgets and gaming. As you read our words and this post, remember the time Kotaku and Giz worked on the PS3 launch in sync, with units you shipped out to us with great haste? Wasn’t that great fun? Let’s hope days like these are ahead of us, too. –Brian Lam

Sony Blackballs Kotaku [Kotaku]

DISCUSSION

By
ibell

It's funny how people try to make this a 1st amendment rights issue. At the hear of it, it is, its true. People have the right to say what they want, when they want, regardless of if what they are saying is true or not. Thats just the silly, immature foundation on which America was built.

But lets get real people, this is about freaking video games, not about someones right to know that people are being marginalized or, the real facts about whats going on in prisons in Guantanomo, or Iraq war intelligence. I agree that controlling information in ANY way is grounds for trouble, but Kotaku and Sony had a relationship which was beneficial at some point.

For sony to make a request to Kotaku not to report on a rumor, based on the relationship that they had, was not far-fetched, or to me considered a plot to control infomrmation. If i was a company like Sony, in a similar position, I would make a similar request if I felt like the unsubstantiated rumor may in some way be damaging to my interests. It wouldn't be like I was issuing a gag order that subverts 1st amendment rights, it wold be like me asking a favor of a friend. That Kotaku trumped-up the and claiming censorship and trying to take the moral high-ground is pretty silly of them.

Sure Sony's "im taking my ball and going home" maneuver was equally childish, but ultimately, Kotaku decided to trump this up unnecessarily. I mean seriously, what would be the harm is waiting, or not publishing the article at all?

If Kotaku is going to claim Journalistic Integrity here, then they will also have to face up to the fact that sensationalism is not what journalism is about either. Reporting on a rumor , not matter how substantiated, while legal, is still sensationalist; something that the American journalistic body is poisoned with.