Reply to “Media Ethics Isn’t a Game”

A SPJ advocate wrote this blog entry at http://journoterrorist.com/2015/05/04/gamergate/#comment-18941

The following is my reply:

Our move? We’ve always been, have been moving for the last 9 months. Of course you and your colleagues may not have noticed or cared while you sit in your ivory towers yapping about ethics in journalism. Meanwhile, GamerGate supporters have been on the ground zero actually doing something about unethical journalism. GG has been rooting out those “journalists” who fail basic ethics. Even FCC took their suggestions to make online journalism more ethical.

I ask you about ethics, about evidence in reporting. Does the onus fall on the accuser or the accused to prove one’s innocence? For instance, in the court of law, it is up to the prosecutor to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the defendant is guilty. [edit: And the defendant gets their chance to defend themselves and tell their side of the story.] So have you and fellow SPJs provided the same objective treatment to those accused of being involved in a hateful movement? When even federal agencies like CIA & FBI find no credible threats coming from GamerGate supporters. So why would so-called ethical journalists such as SPJ continue to ignore credible sources like CIA, but continue to believe in lying journalists with personal agendas and interests? Is it not your duty as journalists, your integrity to research and investigate for solid evidence, rather than shove that responsiblity onto the consumers and readers?

Furthermore, as truthseekers, have you never wondered why prominent members of society risk their livelihood to join in a so-called “hate” movement? Not just gamers, but people in unrelated careers and interests, journalists, feminists, professors, game designers, youtube personalities, artists, sci-fi writers, etc. all participate in the #GamerGate hashtag. Why would they risk being called racists, homophobes, misogynists, using their personal twitter accounts and, according to mass media and fearmongers, to harrass and spread hate openly on the internet? What could they gain from being associated with GamerGate if it were truly a hate movement? (Not to mention that those ad hominems buzzwords have been thrown around so carelessly and freely without any real reason or proof, that they already lost all meaning and no longer bear any burden for experienced internet users and those falsely accused as such.)

We have made our moves and are still moving after 9 months and still going. As a matter of fact, some of us have been waiting for some ethical journalism organization, perhaps SPJ, to make their moves, to ensure and nurture a more ethical, credible state of journalism. You would not find another more passionate group than GamerGate to push for more ethical journalism.

So it’s really your move, SPJ. Show us that you believe and stand staunchly behind that very standards of ethics you endorse.

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