By Elliot Adams
Good journalism makes you think, great journalism makes you think twice – it moves you with accounts of humanity at her best or chills you with her worst; all to make you question what you once assumed as gospel truth.
Contrarily, there is journalism of the circus or the courthouse. The lurid tales of doom beloved of the tabloids, missing white women and Osama Bin Laden’s face being found on the moon. Or the institutional necessity of producing news based on mediating the best version of the truth. These can both be good journalism too, entertaining, informative and valuable as a commodity.
But to reduce good journalism to that which fulfills these criteria is a mistake. There is art in the media, potentially great art. Often this involves embracing the subjective, which is no bad thing as long as it is acknowledged as such, moving away from the dry and mythical ‘view-from-nowhere’.
Even the areas of journalism most disdained as infantile, videogames reviews for instance, can have a depth that approaches art. In every gamer is someone who has conquered galaxies, built cities and taken part in telling some of the most involved narratives human culture has ever produced. Accordingly games reviews can be more than just descriptions of gameplay and visuals. They can be accounts of love and betrayal, the gamut of human emotion and fantastic architecture, they can produce travel journalism of imaginary worlds or political journalism describing debates that will never occur and yet can be far more compelling than any number of pieces on real world political maneuvering. Moreover, they can produce that rarest and most valuable thing to human society, a story well told.
Holding this to be true, I shall attempt (regular readers know how useless I am at posting with anything close to constancy) to keep a regular ‘pick of the week’ section. Collecting for your reading pleasure, the pieces in the world’s media that best embody these notions.
I am taking suggestions for inclusion, just fire me off a link – perhaps with a short description of why you think it is so affecting – using the contact form.