Title page for ETD etd-11192010-115249

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Jenkins, Benjamin
URN etd-11192010-115249
Title Staying Objective: The Effect of Corporate Public Relations on Video Game Journalists
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dahmen, Nicole Committee Chair
Freeman, Craig Committee Member
Kurpius, David Committee Member
  • game
  • relations
  • norms
  • objectivity
  • Video
  • journalism
  • public
Date of Defense 2010-11-05
Availability unrestricted
The video game industry makes more than $10 billion a year in the United States alone. It is a young and booming medium. Growing alongside the video game business is the video game media, a niche form of journalism comprised mostly of gaming websites and a few reporters in traditional media.

This thesis examines the young gaming news industry through in-depth interviews conducted with six journalists from various news outlets. The research focused on two things: if game journalists followed the same norms and routines as news journalists and if game companies were able to influence what game journalists wrote through public relations efforts.

To determine what standards game journalists followed, the researcher asked the participants about each of the journalistic norm and routines. The norms of journalism are news value, objectivity, balance and fairness, professionalism, watchdog role, enduring values, style and format, scoop, and professional cooperation. To find out about outside influence affecting the work of the journalists, the researcher asked participants questions about their interaction with PR workers, how they perceived themselves being influence, and how they perceived other being influenced.

The researcher found that video game journalists followed the norms and routines of news journalism and that game journalists are perceived themselves to be free from the influence of video game companies.

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