August 6 2006

Stupid reporting about Japan

Was taking a look at and was pointed to this article over at Newsweek. The short version, their technology writer, Brad Stone, went to Japan for some reason. During his wanderings around Shibuya, he checked out some arcades and seems he was struck with an idea for a lazy article. His first paragraph sets the tone for the entire article:

“July 25, 2006 – On a rainy night last week in a Tokyo arcade, a twentysomething teacher who wishes to be known as Momo saved the world from the evil forces of the Principality of Zeon. He was playing a videogame called Mobile Space 0079. It’s based on the enduringly popular Japanese anime television series, in which young soldiers wage space combat in giant robot suits. You may have seen “Gundam Wing” during a failed run a few years ago on the Cartoon Network. In Japan, it practically passes for religion, with conventions, extensive toy lines and libraries of manga comic books. Now it’s spawned a popular, networked, multiplayer arcade game.”

Oh where to even start. Ok, first off, while I have not seen this paticular Gundam game, I highly doubt it is called “Mobile Space 0079” as the name of the series has always been “Mobile Suit Gundam 0079”. I have never seen it called “Mobile Space”, but oh well. As for Gundam Wing having “a failed run a few years ago on the Cartoon Network”. Um…I really wonder where he got that piece of info since it was one of their highest rated series at the time and was run multiple times. The rest of the article is filled with numerous inaccuracies, but I won’t bore you with all of them.

This is yet another example of “lazy journalism” to me. The journalist gets an idea for a story, but then realizes it takes more research than they expected and just decide “Oh well, not that many people will know this” and they go with what they have. There will always be a few people out there that do know the subject though and will know how wrong it is.

Of course this won’t interest most of you, it’s just an article about arcades. So wrong. If a reporter is wrong on an article like this, if I hadn’t pointed it out to you, you would have believed it and figured everything was correct. What it does to me is make me wonder about articles I read on industried and stories I don’t know about. If the ones I do know are incorrect, isn’t there a good chance most of them are?

share tweet share

Japan Journalism