Most gaming outlets really enjoy their top five or top ten list articles. Who can blame them, really? Such lists not only generate a vast number of traffic, but also enable the writer to share an opinion in a structure that’s easy to digest for almost anyone–and it’s usually easy to write as well. For many, an editorial featuring a list is a nice and simple opinion piece to obtain an additional perspective or even some more knowledge about the medium they’re passionate about. For Examiner.com, these lists also serve as factual data representing players as a whole.
Citing CalmDownTom author Stuart Gillies’ editorial about features he would personally wish to see in the rumoured Fallout 4, author Shui Ta writes a story about features in the game that the fans want.
Setting up the article nicely, author Shui Ta writes for the title, “‘Fallout 4′ most-requested [sic] features list revealed (Photos)”. This title, alone, reeks of everything wrong with this article. The title reads that a list pertaining a number of features that are highly requested has been revealed, suggesting that perhaps Bethesda has released a statement based upon surveys or general fan feedback regarding features that players would like to see. After all, to understand the “most-requested [sic]” features of the game, one must first obtain suitable information from a large pool of individuals. Looking at the source material, however, this seems far from the truth.
In his feature, Gillies writes, ” [H]ere are the things that I believe should be in the Bethesda developed Fallout 4[…]”. Straight within the first paragraph, the author of the source expresses that the editorial is comprised entirely of his own opinion. To make this especially clear, Gillies continues, “This list is my personal opinion[…]”. This doesn’t stop Ta from citing this editorial and mislabeling it as news.
In this case, Ta should have read the source more carefully before crafting a short news story about it. Additionally, this also leads to many questions being asked about Examiner.com’s editors and the process that is involved on the website. I suppose it could be a simple mistake to make, should the reader ignore the opening paragraph of the source material, but that doesn’t make this article any less misleading and poorly researched. Perhaps, however, this also reflects badly on the nature of editorial lists as well?
Or perhaps it just means the author lacks good reading comprehension.