Why Do Geek Journalists Write About Things They Don’t Like?

2015. október 12. 9:02

Chris Lough
Tor.com
The expectation that TV reviewers shouldn’t challenge the shows they review is a common criticism that many of the writers on the Geek Journalism panel have encountered.

Constant change generates confusion, and as the panel continued it became clear that geek journalism is encountering a stigma in recent years as a result of that confusion. Some readers question the validity of writers talking about larger issues within the context of something that is expected to be benign, like a TV review. Valentine, who reviews and recaps television for The AV Club, is all too aware of that. 'There are a lot of people who want to enjoy what they like and not think about it too deeply. But one of the things you have to do as a journalist is apply a rubric to a show—a theoretical state of perfection that the show could achieve—so you can examine whether the show is or is not meeting that. And a LOT of people don’t want you to do that!'

The expectation that TV reviewers shouldn’t challenge the shows they review is a common criticism that many of the writers on the Geek Journalism panel have encountered, a criticism that they have found baffling. Pantozzi spoke about her time reviewing Doctor Who for The Mary Sue and getting repeated comments on why she was writing about the show when she didn’t like aspects of it. The Mary Sue’s reviewer of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. encountered the same question from readers. (…)

The answer is simple: Because it’s my job. But that raises the question: What IS my job? Am I news reporter? Do I write about my feelings, like Emily? Am I a feature writer? Or am I an opinion columnist? Really, I’m all of these, because that’s what Tor.com as a publication dictates. It reports news on the sci-fi/fantasy book industry, but it also presents feature and opinion articles from authors and other writers (like the Five Books series, or Emily’s articles). TV and movie and book reviews fall somewhere in between, in that they report an event but also offer an opinion on it. But, as the panelists pointed out, that opinion is on something that other people really LOVE, and a reader can view a negative opinion as hostile since it reverberates so closely with their own feelings.

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