Best college gaming journalism 2017

Which college journos made the honor roll?

One student publication submitted 50 entries to the Excellence in College Gaming Journalism category.

Don’t submit 50 entries.

If the judges feel that one article is wasting their time, then you sure don’t want to waste their time 50 times. Especially if the pieces lack sourcing, balance, clarity — basically anything journalistic. Don’t get me wrong; I’m happy you submitted to the Kunkels. That being said, my advice is to be more selective.

What the judges did take away from going over the 50+ entries is the apparent lack of resources going to students seeking careers in gaming journalism.

Here’s an example: One student publication, Byte, submitted several single-source stories of three paragraphs. Here’s one lede:

Esports has had a hard time gaining traction on the sports scene, particularly here in the United States. ESPN’s showing of a DOTA 2 tournament was met with significant backlash back in 2015. This may be set to change however, as the Olympic Council of Asia has decided to introduce esports as a “demonstration sport” next year, and a medaled event in their 2022 Asian Games.

An advisor — or at least an editor — should have caught the bold claims not backed up with sourcing and data. Show us how eSports “has had a hard time gaining traction” and tell us more about this mysterious ESPN DotA 2 tournament.

The editor (or advisor) should have also set a standard of more than one single, lone, asocial source. This singular source was a press release — no human interaction required on the journalist’s part.

Since it’s so apparent that advisors and editors weren’t looking out for these basic journalism necessities, overall the judges felt college newsrooms were not holding gaming journalism to the same standards as they would for news, features and sports.

If the gaming stories aren’t being taken seriously by college journo editors and advisors, then the writers won’t improve in a meaningful way when they (hopefully) transition to a real-world newsroom.

“Games may be relegated to lower priority [in the college newsroom] and that may be fine for them, but it’s not fine for people looking to pursue careers in gaming journalism because they’re wasting their time and they can’t get jobs from this,” said Gideon Grudo, the one and only out judge of the Kunkels.

He continued: “I would hope student journos are getting experience from this and not taking it any less seriously than any other story. Serious reporting is needed and student newspapers should put resources into this just like anything else.”

Another judge agreed, but made it clear not all of the blame lies on the newsroom; writers need to go above and beyond to ensure they are learning the tools for success.

“You get out what you put in. If you’re not demanding assistance and guidance you need as a student pursuing these fields, you’re not going to get it.”

Without further ado, here are the winners for the Excellence in College Gaming Journalism category…

Defending the First Amendment and promoting open government are more crucial now than ever. Join SPJ's fight for the public’s right to know — either as an SPJ Supporter or a professional, student or retired journalist.

comments powered by Disqus


Twitter Facebook Google Plus RSS Instagram Pinterest Pinterest LinkedIn

© Society of Professional Journalists. All rights reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789 | Contact SPJ Headquarters | Employment Opportunities | Advertise with SPJ