In this respect, Jade's photography is the purest form of reporting. There is no slant or deviousness behind her photos. They are not altered in any way. They are a truthful and accurate representation of the facts without any personal comment. But it is the employment of impartiality in atrocious circumstances that will trouble most people. When the Alpha Sections are draining their victims of any energy with which they might resist the horrific process of being packaged into boxes, is it still understandable for Jade to practice the journalistic creed of impartiality? She would be guilty of what Martin Bell, former BBC war correspondent calls "bystander's journalism."

"It is not only impossible but inappropriate to be thus neutralized - I would even say neutered - at the scene of an atrocity or massacre," he said in an article in which he championed what he termed the "journalism of attachment."

Jade's coolness of tone and clarity of thought are very much journalistic attributes. At the beginning of the game she is not easily overwhelmed and retains the traditional detachment of real-world broadcast reporters. As the game progresses her character develops, and she is given to displays of emotion. She shows an affection and attachment to other characters that in turn wins her the affection of the player. While the rest of the staff of the IRIS Network seem more interested in putting the next issue to bed and consolidating its readership, Jade becomes genuinely concerned for the Alphas' victims. Her development is representative of journalists like Bell who have seen it all first hand and who associate buzzwords likes "objectivity" with plain old indifference.

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The name "Beyond Good & Evil" itself is a misnomer. It refers to the 19th century work of moral philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who saw modern morals as a byproduct of eons of religious practice. The game does not go as far as Nietzsche's final rejection of a Christian-based moral framework; instead it simply presents its characters as shades of moral gray and not purely good or purely evil. Jade is far removed from the good-guy cliché of the industry. At times her actions can be cowardly. At other times they can be valiant. She can be underhanded and unscrupulous in her methods, but her emotions and sensitivities to other people are by no means lost. In her fight against an oppressive militaristic state she struggles to retain her humanity, in more ways than one.

In that respect one statement of Nietzsche's resonates with Jade: "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become one."

Brendan Caldwell is currently seeking employment after being fired for 'unethical journalistic practice.'

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