Best news reporting 2016

Hating the love-hate.


In the category of Excellence in News Reporting, our three judges hated so many stories precisely because they wanted to love them so much.

Journalists are complicated like that.

First off, all the entries from last year’s big winner were disqualified. For the inaugural Kunkels, the venerable website Kotaku took first, second, and tied for third place for news posts published in 2015. But for 2016, readers submitted a half-dozen Kotaku entries that were also published in 2015.

For example, The Real Stories Behind E3’s Glossy Game Demos contains this line after the first paragraph: This story originally appeared June 9, 2015.

The judges agreed that’s lame. So onward and downward.

Of the 90-plus remaining entries, most failed to follow basic principles. Journalism is already a scorned profession, so it’s more crucial than ever that every claim be backed up by reliable sources.  Yet the judges couldn’t find a third-place winner.

“Everything else was either single-sourced, a feature story, a blog or any combination of the three,” one judge lamented.

That judge was looking at this Breitbart story for third place: Censorship makes the biggest release for ‘Fire Emblem’ also its worst. Journalists are sympathetic when other people get censored, but the story didn’t back up the provocative headline. As another judge ranted…

He writes, “Memes have replaced meaningful dialogue…” That’s opinion, bro. More importantly, the main claim isn’t supported at all. If the localization team ruined the game by changing shit, tell me why changing that shit ruined the game. Change in its own right isn’t always bad. Claim. Support claim. Claim. Support claim. This isn’t too complicated.

This year, it was.


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  • Hedger

    Really…

    This last week has been completely eye opening as to how little the spj judges understand the audience being served.

    WE DON’T WANT WHAT THE CURRENT MEDIA PRESENTS.

    4th day in a row where you attempt to take the standards and sensiblities of the generic ill informed mainstream media consumer and apply the to works designed and marketed to highly informed highly engaged active enthusiasts.

    The people reading and watching this stuff already know and understand what’s happening around them in general terms and are looking for detail. They don’t need to be sold with a headline, or brought to speed by condensing nuanced events into the opening two sentences. They are literally trying to escape from those tactics as they are bombarded with them in every other medium.

    This is a community. You will not be recognized as authority simply because you have the “platform” because the only thing you have that the average person doesn’t is access. Press gets games and systems for free, weeks in advance that anyone else needs to wait and then pay hundreds of dollars For.

    Your strength isn’t knowledge, you make a point to present to the lowest denominator. Your strength isn’t skill, reviewers simply don’t put in the time to become proficient. And you can’t explain to anyone how to think, this is the largest black eye to the press as people increasingly learn to inform themselves only to see how badly they’ve been led astray.

    You are failing in nearly all you attempt to accomplish, while those presenting simply what they see are beginning to flourish.

    AND YOU THINK STICKING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT WILL HELP.

    This was a fun experiment, but the spj is simply a continuation of the same media system that has driven millions to video games and will continue to do so. You insist on telling people what to think and do yet are absolutely clueless of the topics you cover. As call of duty would announce “mistakes were made”

    Journalism is dead, long live journalism.

  • Dighunter

    Please explain how “memes have replaced meaningful dialogue” is an “opinion” when said claim is accompanied by a live comparison between the original set of dialogue and the replacement. What part of that, exactly, is an opinion?
    They substantiated their claim with actual footage, in addition to an entire album’s worth of comparisons. But I guess that was too complicated for the judges huh?

  • TtTreatise

    How does an article that includes this spurious correlation as “evidence” win an award?

    > Perhaps the most damning evidence against the correlation between violent video games is the downward-trending decrease of violent crime in the United States while the sales of violent video games has steadily increased.

    That’s not evidence, it’s an irresponsible use of a simple statistic to push an agenda.

  • TtTreatise

    How is this not corrected?

    > First off, all the entries from last year’s big winner were disqualified. For the inaugural Kunkels, the venerable website Kotaku took first, second, and tied for third place for news posts published in 2015. But for 2016, readers submitted a half-dozen Kotaku entries that were also published in 2015.

    > For example, The Real Stories Behind E3’s Glossy Game Demos contains this line after the first paragraph: This story originally appeared June 9, 2015.

    > The judges agreed that’s lame. So onward and downward.

    This is all untrue. You fucked up and yet have not updated this page.

    The Kunkel award is a joke and makes the SPJ a joke.

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