Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Editorial: 40K In The News? Journalist Amok!

Is all publicity good publicity? Image courtesy 122nd Cadian Blog.
It's not often that our hobby gets coverage in the main stream news, so you would think we hobbyists would appreciate the press when we do get it.

Unfortunately, not all journalism is created equally, as the Warhammer 40,000 community and 40K enthusiasts who were interviewed for a news magazine article, learned yesterday in Greece.

The AntiPope, at 122nd Cadian Blog, reports on a recent tournament where an obviously biased "journalist" with vitriol in her veins descended on the unsuspecting players to interview them, and then do a slag piece on our hobby. From the sounds of it, all those at the event were happy to talk to her, but most are very unhappy with the results of those interviews.

Having read this in the original language, I think it's fair to say that this article was not intended to be anything but a smear piece, and the journalist in question let her obvious bias interfere with journalistic integrity, allowing her opinion to dominate the piece, while exaggerating or getting some of her facts wrong.

Oh. I've read it in both languages, and it's as bad as Antipope says. Actually. It's worse. The original article isn't just dripping with sarcasm. It's dripping with judgement, contempt and venom, wrapped in sarcasm, to make it more palatable to the readers. After all, it has to have the air of being reasonable, if not the effort.

This is typical of the biased Greek Journalism that I get to see here in Canada, and which I've been exposed to my whole life coming from a Greek family who is inundated with Greek media, where opinion has no basis in fact or research. I often joke with my parents about how ridiculous Greek Journalism is, and how they can turn a paper cut into a national crisis, with discussion groups, opinion polls, expert panels and the works. (I'll avoid delving into the current eco-political crisis of that nation, except to observe that it's been a media circus over here.)

But, too many of those so called expert panels lack any depth of knowledge on any subject they talk about. The majority of them are opinionists, not news journalists, and the ones who actually do some research, or have true credentialed experts that talk sense usually get shouted down by the crowd. It basically becomes a shouting match and whoever shouts the loudest is right. Most of the true experts I've seen involved in such just shut up in exasperation because it's not worth it. Ultimately, these panels are just Talking Heads.

Unfortunately, those Talking Heads have the ability to shape opinion through misinformation, or insufficient knowledge of the subject matter. Those of us who participate in the hobby and love the universe, and those who understand it would call most of the article in question rubbish. The reality is, this article can be very influential to the people on the fringe of the hobby, who might be aware of it, but not yet have an informed opinion, and so damage their opinion.

It's apparent the views of the author of the article are narrow minded, biased, and political, and this becomes obvious later in the article.

It's too bad that the author's opinion is also clouded by her misinformation and lack of research on the subject matter, even when using interview response quotes, and off the cuff quips at humour (admittedly perhaps in poor taste) to emphasize her point of view. It would have been a simple thing to actually research some of the statements made by the players she interviewed in order to gain context and relevance, instead of twisting those comments to her agenda.

So, if you love the hobby, do yourself a favour. Go check out the article in question, posted in both Greek and English at 122 Cadian, and lend your support by commenting there. So far there is a very civilized discourse occurring there. Go lend your support. Show the Greek community that we defy that description of us. As a group, we break the mould of stereotypes. We encompass a broad spectrum of professions, ranging from artists, doctors, lawyers, writers, engineers, etc. We also range across a broad spectrum of creeds and cultures. We are men and women. We are old and young, and young at heart. We love the hobby and the game, regardless of our niggles. We are a strong community with a singular purpose, to enjoy our hobby in a positive manner, so get out there, lead by example, and spread that enjoyment.

122nd Cadian Blog
Games Workshop


  1. Cheers mate, it's all good, you shouldn't change anything. Thank you for your support.

    So you are very fluent in Greek then?

  2. Thanks. Glad to support a positive ideal.

    Fluent enough to read and understand. Unfortunately, not fluent enough to speak it any more...at least not without making the listener suffer. Lack of practice and I spend too long searching for words and conjugations.

    And all my cousins want to practice English when I visit, so I don't get much chance to practice then either. :)

  3. Next time you are in Greece let us know and we could play some 40K!

  4. Will do. Though it might be a while before I can travel there again. I'm between jobs and must watch the finances carefully right now. At least my family has a home there where I can stay, and I have cousins all over the place.

  5. Cool, hope you can find the coin and visit soon. Is it Athens your family lives in?

  6. My family is from northern Greece, near Florina, but I do have family all over the country, so tend to visit lots of parts of the country when I do visit.