The community can raise the money to finally have that independent journalistic voice be heard.
So you say you want independent journalism in esports?
The esports community is loud, opinionated and rowdy. That’s all well and good when cheering for your favorite player but when important questions arise about the esports industry, we need a different approach. When we look critically at the esports industry, we can’t simply take the word of the industry itself. We need journalism. While independent sites do their best, they are subject to serious limits.
Esports journalism will never be as good as we want it to be when it is built on volunteer staff and extremely limited funds. Like all journalism, esports journalism can be consistently good if and only if an independent journalist is paid a salary.
Right now, the “good journalists” all eventually leave for other jobs when it becomes clear that they cannot make money off of esports journalism. The volunteers who remain often work for teams and leagues or contribute as hobbyists. When journalists wonder where their next paycheck will come from, they know full well that the best chance for a paying esports job is from within the teams, leagues and other organizations they are currently covering as journalists. Problems of access and respect plague esports journalists daily. This equation rarely equals good journalism.
We can do better.
HOW WE CAN BUILD INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM?
The Esports Reporter aims to raise the funds to have an independent journalistic voice working full time in the industry. The community, which has asked for this again and again, will finally have the chance to put their money where their mouth is and build esports a little higher in one solid step.
The Esports Reporter will consist of at least ten full episodes of in-depth esports journalism from an independent perspective. There will be no punches pulled, no half-hearted investigations and no filler. The Esports Reporter will deliver critical and independent journalism about big issues in the esports industry.
Good journalism isn’t cheap and it never will be. When it’s done right, it’s worth it ten times over.
WHO IS BEHIND THE ESPORTS REPORTER?
The Esports Reporter is project aimed at publishing regular independent journalistic features on esports. The director is Patrick O’Neill (chobopeon). You may know chobopeon’s work with MLG, Gamespot, SK Gaming, ESFI, Team Liquid, The Executives, SC Center, The StarCraft Report, The StarCraft Bible, A History of Esports and more. You can see his portfolio here.
Tell us which stories you want told and which angles you want investigated. Go to chobopeon.com/contact to email the project’s director.
To help build esports journalism, please give generously to this project and share it with friends. Post it to forums, post to different esports reddits, tweet and get the word out.
This is The Esports Reporter. This is independent esports journalism. Are you in?
The money is being used to purchase a set (camera, background, etc) from which we can film the show and to pay a salary to myself and, if necessary, other journalists who work for the project. Consider that the set will cost around $500. Leftover salary will be $5500 total or $1375 per month given the four month initial plan. That would add up to $16,500 per year. While that's not a lot and is not livable in New York City (where I live) on its own, when I combine it with my other sources of income (namely freelance writing), I should be able to put out a high quality show and put food on my table.
Consistently good independent journalism can't be done without a salary. That's the crux of this project. I hope to build a reasonable salary from which to work here.
Access is an important part of this project. My journalism schooling, my esports industry experience and my community backing has already opened doors in terms of access for this project. Continued access will depend on The Esports Reporter producing good work and earning a reputation as a solid outlet. All independent journalists must skillfully navigate their industry, must tactfully and intelligently interact with their subjects. This is one of the great tricks of journalism. I think that I am in a position to make it work extremely well.
The esports industry is not necessarily a tight lipped group that shuns all efforts at transparency. If and when a journalist presents themselves to the relevant people in the right way, the conversation begins.
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