April 04, 2007

A Question of Integrity?

At the Quake Wars event last week, I was expecting a 1-on-1 interview opportunity with a member of the development staff, but it didn't go quite as planned. Instead, another writer and I were picked to do a group interview with Kevin Cloud, co-owner of id Software and lead developer of the game. Since we were both asking questions, it didn't seem like I would be able to transcribe the conversation and post it as a Q&A, considering that some of the content wasn't mine. No biggie -- I ended up using the interview as much-needed background information for my preview.

But the other guy didn't. He also didn't have any kind of voice recorder.

So it came as a surprise when his version of the Q&A went up last night. I recorded the entire conversation onto a digital voice recorder, so I know how long it went, and exactly what was said. Because this writer took only written notes, his version of the interview is much, much shorter than the real thing. The quotes are not correct. My questions are included. I see so many things that are wrong about this situation. It's not that he misrepresented what Cloud was saying, but he certainly misquoted him, even if not intentionally.

I don't suspect any intended malice in this situation, but it seems unprofessional and it definitely smacks of sloppiness. If you're going to post a Q&A based on a real conversation, be sure to record the conversation. The fact that half of the questions were mine doesn't help matters. Though I think the writer has been covering events like this for longer than I have, he is still in college (with a journalism minor). Perhaps they haven't discussed things like this before, but it seems pretty obvious.

Anyway. I was pretty baffled by this last night, but it doesn't seem like there's really anything I can do about it. I'm not going to raise a stink or expose the writer; he seemed like a good kid and like I said, it just feels like sloppy reporting. If anything, it revealed to me that I probably would not want to write for that website. I obtained contact information from him before I headed home, and the website may receive more traffic than WP, but I'm not looking to write for a publication that posts incomplete/incorrect content.

Though, technically, they've already posted my content. ;)