Five Lessons in Games Journalism by Kirsten Kearney – An Introduction

Specialist journalism of any kind takes the tenets of the Forth Estate¹ and combines them with a passionate enthusiasm or outright obsession with one particular subject. Whether it’s fashion, food, travel or trains the specialist journalist must express the love of the subject’s greatest fan and bring to them every new fact and facet.

Earlier this year I read 700 applications for the position of Games Journalist here at Ready Up, an unpaid role with the opportunity to learn more about the industry, build a body of work and benefit from the support of professional journalists. I still regularly receive requests for support and feedback from those wishing to break into the business. My schedule doesn’t allow me the time to help all of these talented, would-be journos out. I thought instead I’d write a series of blogs that may help our readers get a good foundation in the workings of the business.

Although many of you are full to the brim with talent and passion and are primed to roll your sleeves up and get to work I found in reading all those applications that few really know anything about the background of the world you want to be a part of. If you want to be a musician, rather than racing straight out buying a strat and getting a cool haircut you gotta learn about music beyond the current charts. You want to know about Bowie, and the Beatles and back through, Buddy Holly and Bill Hailey, before Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Robert Johnson all the way back to Call and Response.

In these lessons I will talk about the history of Games Journalism and we’ll hear from the finest and most diverse exponents of the craft who’ve taken the time to pass on the benefit of their experiences to us. So get your notepad and pencil out, there will be questions later:

¹In May 1789, Louis XVI summoned to Versailles a full meeting of the ‘Estates General’. The First Estate consisted of three hundred clergy. The Second Estate, three hundred nobles. The Third Estate, six hundred commoners. Some years later, after the French Revolution, Edmund Burke, looking up at the Press Gallery of the House of Commons, said, ‘Yonder sits the Fourth Estate, and they are more important than them all.







13 responses to “Five Lessons in Games Journalism by Kirsten Kearney – An Introduction”

  1. Mark avatar

    Cool beans, notepad is out.

  2. Jay avatar

    Lesson 1, get a sub 😉

  3. John.B avatar

    Psssttt, guys. I think this is code for the staff’s writing is shit and we need to take notes. 😛

    *gets notepad out* Looking forward to this 🙂 A reference to the French Rev in the first line? It must be interesting.

  4. Michael avatar

    Oh, this sounds like it’ll interesting… *grins*

    Kudos on the Bill Haley mention! Mostly as I heard him and the Comets tons as a kid!

    C’mon with the lessons! NAOW! ^_^

  5. Lorna avatar

    Looking forward to this 🙂 *snaps John.B’s pencil to ensure a head start* ;p

  6. DunK avatar

    *Snatches pencil off Lorna*

    Back off, you have your spot, let some us n00bs take some notes. 😉

  7. John.B avatar

    :O *waves hand in air*

    MISS KEARNEY! MISS MISS MISS! Lorna is being a butthole.

  8. Kirsten avatar

    *looks over half moon glasses*

    That will do. Settle down please, class.

  9. markBOSS avatar

    #markBOSS bats his eyes at the teacher to reveal’I love you’ written on his eyelids.#

    Cool post Kirsten, I am in much need of advice and will surely be following your wise ways like a young gaming journo ninja ready by your side!

  10. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I’m not a writer, I’m just here to check out the teacher, erm, I mean learn something.

  11. Uzi avatar

    Heh, “Elite 64”. A friend of mine played the heck out of that game on his Commodore 64/128. I was more into the Microprose simulations, like Gunship, F-15 Fighting Eagle and F-19 Stealth Fighter.

    Kirsten, will you be providing your thoughts on the Star Trek movie? Interested to hear them. My father, a Trekkie, was very pleased with the movie. I wasn’t so sure about some of the casting choices, but I think they’ve laid a good foundation for a movie series.

  12. […] Kearney is interviewing a series of five games journalists over at Ready Up!, each with a specific twist as it’s actually meant to be an educational thing for […]

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