Why I’m Going Back to the News-Room
I’m wetting my pants with excitement about a new job, ‘head of news and features’ at IGN. These people are going to pay me money to write about video games, to hang out with a bunch of smart, funny journalists, designers, film-makers.
For the past couple of years I’ve been working in marketing, creating blogs and news platforms for brands. It’s been fun and it’s been a creative challenge, but even when marketing is trying to tell true stories, to posit itself as journalism, it’s still marketing. It’s an entirely different profession.
Ultimately, I love news-rooms. There’s no better place to work. They are edgy, competitive places but also collaborative, friendly and noisy. Famously, news-rooms are places where deadlines rule, where the pressure is always on, where moods swing according to an endless influx of outside events, outrages, fuck-ups. News-rooms do not tolerate the kind of office-speak, jargon BS that disfigure other businesses. They are places where plain speaking is just as important as tight copy, where individualism, skepticism and good humor are always in demand.
Even though I’ve been working in marketing, I’ve also been freelancing for Gamasutra alongside a terrific team of journalists led by my great friend Kris Graft. It’s been a reminder to me that we should all try to do the things we really love.
While writing for Gamasutra, I went to visit IGN boss Roy Bahat and we enjoyed a spirited conversation about the future of the media and of games journalism. I popped my head into the news-room and felt a dizzy certainty that this was the kind of place where I’d happily spend 40-odd hours a week. I felt a strong desire to belong to something exciting.
More recently, I’ve spent time with IGN’s team-members; funny, serious, ambitious, talented men and women who want to entertain and inform their audience.
There’s no doubt in my mind that whatever the future of games journalism and of the media, IGN will be at the forefront. There is so much work to be done, so many opportunities to tell fantastic stories using a wide array of forms.
IGN operates in the games business, which is never, ever dull. IGN is blessed with tough, competent, creative challengers, like Gamespot. In the ferociously competitive games media market, it faces hundreds of ambitious, excellent competitors like Giant Bomb, Ars Technica, GameLife and VG247; like my pals in the B2B space including MCV, Develop, Gamasutra; like its own sister sites 1-Up, UGO and Gamespy.
IGN creates stories, videos, podcasts, infographics and more, and pours them into a seething media milieu around the clock, around the globe.
So yeah, I’m pretty buzzed.