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Kotaku, Clickbait, and Placeholder dates
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Don Parsons
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October 11, 2016 - 3:54 pm
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Today in Video Game Journalism stuff that ticks me off is Kotaku Australia. 

Kotaku Australia reported yesterday about a release date for Dawn of War 3, however, there are a lot of issues with this report that make it unreliable and a mess, as well as clickbait.

The date they claim there, is April 30th as was on Sega's website. It is well known, and in an update Kotaku Australia even admits this, that dates at the end of a month are almost always placeholders when not formally announced. That's why when the leak on Mass Effect: Andromeda's date was March 21 it was notable - that is not a date used as a placeholder. Now, April 30th is not the most common of placeholders - generally, you'll see December 31, or quarter marks like March 31 used but that type of end of the month, has been used before. Additionally, April 30th is a weekend.

Additionally, the piece has a lot of plain bad writing. For example, in one part it says, "It’s worth noting that April 30 falls on a weekend for Australians". Take a second and think about that - it's implying that what day it is can vary depending on location. April 30th, is everywhere on Earth a weekend day next year, although some will hit the date before others. That is what is supposed to be part of their 'clarifying' update.

They mention part way through that it might be just giving a window. If so, why is the title for your article "We Have A Release Date For Dawn Of War 3"? That doesn't really ring true there. That part may not be the author's fault, sometimes editors are in charge of titles which means that may have been set by them.

Additionally, there's a date there for Sonic Mania, which they don't mention. Probably because they realize it would undermine their article to bring attention to a date that is on a weekend release supposed of April 1st. That is Sonic Mania and is shown in the picture there.

This is just plain bad reporting by Kotaku Australia, and the fact that the 'clarification' they added (assuming I'm understanding which part it is, because it is not 100% explicit) further creates issues makes it even worse.

News Editor at TechRaptor

 

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Saruling
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October 12, 2016 - 8:04 am
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How dare you libel Kotaku like that! They would NEVER stoop so low as to do clickbait.

But seriously though even industry leading news sites clickbait - check the tech headlines at "respected" outlets such as Ars Technica for instance. And worst part, when their readership points it out to them, they defend it.

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Rutledge Daugette
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October 21, 2016 - 2:39 pm
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Saruling said

But seriously though even industry leading news sites clickbait - check the tech headlines at "respected" outlets such as Ars Technica for instance. And worst part, when their readership points it out to them, they defend it.  

Tech Bloggers and Tech Sites are, in many cases, some of the worst offenders of good practice for journalism. Especially when it comes to headlines and affiliate linking.

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