How To Get Into Game Journalism: Xfire Chat

Russ Pitts | 13 Sep 2007 20:30
Interviews - RSS 2.0

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: Question: -Yoda-: Do you work extensively with developers, or do you work mainly on your own for the articles that you write?
Answer: Little of both. For some articles I want to write about an experience free of any "spin" from the devs or PR folks. For others I need all the help they can give me. It depends on the story, the developer and my mood, honestly.

[Slashdot] Michael: For what I do, I have almost no contact with developers. Which is not to say I never see or talk to them, they're just not a part of what I do on a day-to-day basis.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: Question: DJ RBK: How do you cultivate relationships with game companies, especially when your site is just starting out?
Answer: Introduce yourself to everyone. Go to a game company's website, look for their press release section and scan the press releases for names and email addresses. These are the people who are hired to answer your questions.

Also, go to conventions. I've made some of my best contacts at game conventions.

[Slashdot] Michael: "It's not what you know, it's who you know." is a definite truth. Conventions are *the* best way to get folks talking to you. If all you need to do is walk up to a booth and put out your hand, you'll be shocked by how easy it is to make a new contact/friend.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: Question: BrotherJohn: Have you ever just picked up a game and played one and just thought, wow must give review or is it strictly write about what you're given?
Answer: Both. I'm lucky in my position at The Escapist in that I get to choose my assignments the majority of the time, but not everyone is so lucky. And when I do get an assignment I work as hard as if it were something I was passionate about. That's what it means to be a professional.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: Question: Fallen Angel: To Russ Pitts: what's involved in writing for a magazine?
Answer: All magazines have someone who's job it is to search for new content. That's my job at The Escapist. Writing for a magazine is as simple and as hard as sending them a story pitch and waiting for a response. The trick is to pitch to magazines that print the kind of stories you want to write, and in a style compatible with your own. Then be patient and persistent.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: Question: [Fx]ĠŦ: My question Is how would you try to get more readers back into magazines? And how would you Deal with the Online Articles Would you support them or not?
Answer: If I were in print media right now I would ... drink a lot ... more

Then I would focus on providing something in the print version that wasn't available online, and ensuring that both streams complimented each other.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: Question: [Fx]ĠŦ: To Russ: Do you ever talk about topics like System Wars and being a Journalist Do you get to try out Betas and other online activities?
Answer: Console wars are the go-to for when I have nothing better to write about. There just isn't enough that can be said about which platform is better than which other. It's an endless debate, and people love to read that stuff.

I do get Beta invites and review copies and such. PR folks believe that sending us stuff is a good way to ensure we'll feel obligated to write something - and they're right.

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