This fantastic article about the rough financial state of internet journalism (and game internet journalism specifically) from the always great Ben Kuchera got me thinking:
Let's vote on the top 10 game journalists that we feel genuinely offer us great reporting and- more importantly- great game criticism.
There are more than this for sure, but off the top of my head I'll throw the following names in the ring: Ben Kuchera, Garnett Lee, Adam Sessler, Jim Sterling, and Brian Crecente. Are there more, fuck yeah. But it's just a start.
Hell, let's throw in Leigh Alexander as well. I can't stand the woman but to show that this should not be a popularity contest and that we should do our best to pick the reporters who genuinely seem to care for the medium of interactivity. Much as I don't care for Leigh, I do think she cares about the medium and offers a valuable voice to some gamers.
Oh and I gotta throw in that guy who does the fantastic podcast A LIFE WELL WASTED- that thing is amazing!
Ok so anyway- we get a bunch of names of people doing great work in game journalism and then we- as a game community- vote and whittle it to 5 names.
Then we do a yearly Kickstarter to raise 175K.
125 K goes to pay 1 of the 5 reporters (pulled randomly from a hat or voted on by the folks who contributed to the Kstart) a yearly salarty. The remaining 50K goes to pay for expenses (games, travel).
The reporter posts whatever they want on a blog. There is no editor, no advertising/sales group to worry about, and they can update when they want and write about whatever they want. The only harm for doing a bad job (and I define a bad job as simply filing way too few stories) is looking terrible in the public eye that funded them and wiping out their chances of being included in next year's list.
Every time we raise another 175K, we pull another name from the hat/vote on the next reporter. Ideally every year we can raise enough that all 5 reporters get to work.
I think good reporting is important. And good criticism is crucial to move this medium forward.
And given that I've offered over and over to pay a subscription to great gaming sites, they never seem to want to offer subscriptions/paywalls, this seems like a possible good solve.
Or am I fucking high?
Seriously, I'm in for 500 bucks if the rest of y'all are.
Thanks for reading-
ps. I have zero idea if game reporters make well over 125K and if they do, they may scoff at this. I don't mean them any disrespect- 125k seems like a good salary to me is all :).