Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations
I want to start out this post by saying that the anime community as a whole has brought me a lot of joy over the past eight years or so. I have gotten to know so many people who enjoy the same things I do, and I have even gotten to attend a number of anime conventions and start this blog because of it. There is so much about the anime community that is worth exploring and enjoying.
With that being said, there are also many terrible elements within the community as well, and while I could talk about the more serious ones, such as racism against cosplayers, the uncritical defense of sexually depicting young girls in anime, or even the toxic fan bases of specific shows, I wanted to take some time to talk about something more near and dear to my heart.
Now, when I was in high school just a few years ago, I worked for my school’s newspaper. Despite the fact that not many people read the paper, both online and print forms, I still took our work seriously, because getting people accurate information is an important job, and one that should be taken up with the utmost responsibility.
That leads me to one of my pet peeves in the anime community, more specifically with how “news” is delivered by certain publications. While websites like Crunchyroll, Anime News Network, and a few others do a relatively good job at delivering accurate information, it seems as though the vast majority of those who supposedly do this work are just in it for clicks.
My primary example of this has to do with the way that many of these sites talk about anime getting second seasons. Many untrustworthy anime sites will write a headline implying that the second season of popular show has been officially confirmed, when in reality it will be something as minor as the director or assistant director of a show having made some passing comments about wanting to do a sequel.
Anyone who has spent any amount of time doing research on a given show will know what I am talking about. Specifically, I ran into this problem early last year while looking for information about Oregairu season three, and while as of this year the show has been officially confirmed for a third season, despite being pushed back, before then, there was a lot of misinformation running around about its release.
Another problem that comes up with these “news” sites is that many of them will often not update there articles as new information comes out, which is something responsible news outlets are supposed to do. This can leave many readers thinking that a show might not actually have a sequel when, such as the case with many shows right now due to COVID-19, it is simply just delayed.
Now, in the grand scheme of things, reporting on entertainment and art could be considered significantly less important than on normal world events and politics, and while I might be inclined to agree with that, this sort of lazy misinformation can still create problems.
Back during the initial release of Pokemon Sword and Shield, many articles were making false reports about what would and would not be in the game, thus fueling death threats against the creators.
Ultimately, misinformation is bad for pretty much everyone. On the side of the reader, since many already have a hard time distinguishing between opinion and news, it will likely create even more mistrust of news outlets, even ones that have the reputation to back up their reporting, entertainment or otherwise.
As for the news outlet itself, it not only makes themselves look bad, but will further add to the collapse of journalism by making normal advertisers less likely to trust them. Not to mention, that, in an age where news sites, even primarily online based ones, are relying more on crowdfunding and subscriptions than ever, trust becomes even more important.
Now, I want to be perfectly clear with what I am saying. This article is not an invitation to harass those with whom some might have perceived political differences. As long as reporters are delivering accurate information in their news sections, their should not be a problem with how those same people choose to express themselves through editorial.
In fact, it is quite the opposite. There are many smaller “news” sites that have cropped up only to deliver misinformation and false reporting, and I think it is worth calling those sites out as a group, because not only are they doing a disservice to readers, they are simply adding to the mistrust that people have about the media.
This is not to say that all of this mistrust is justified, however. If president Donald Trump has demonstrated one thing continuously it is that authoritarians love calling those that hold them accountable “fake” and “biased.” However, for a variety of reasons, it is better to not justify these opinions through actual misinformation.
Alright, so I got out one of my anime community frustrations, but what are some of yours? Let me know in the comments.
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