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I am an experienced online journalist and political editor working for Trinity Mirror papers in the West Midlands and the North East, based in the Parliamentary Press Gallery at Westminster.

I understand how government, Parliament and political parties work. I am equally at home digging out stories from data, social media or interviews as I am covering major set-piece events or explaining how things work to readers.

I produce content which is shareable and promote my work on social media.

My experience with content management systems and knowledge of HTML allows me to include charts, embedded content from third parties and formatting in my work, to create content which encourages interaction and keeps readers on the page.

Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (but please send press releases to my work email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

You may have seen the story about Barack Obama appointing Kevin Werbach, an academic who plays World of Warcraft, to advise him on Internet and telecoms policies.

This led to an in-depth analysis of his gaming habits - you can tell a lot by looking at the character he plays, apparently, and he plays a giant cow - which concluded among other things that he enjoys helping people and is open-minded.

I was reminded of this by another story that is doing the rounds on the interweb, about recruiters avoiding applicants who play World of Warcraft, because their minds are on other things and they have weird sleeping patterns.

World of Warcraft

Cynical and evil people might suggest the same is true of many other potential employees, including anyone with young children, but definitely not me. I'm scared you'd throw things at me.

Is it true that people who play video games make bad workers? On the positive side, they know a little about the interweb.

And if you think internet communities are, or might become, an important part of your business, it arguably makes sense to recruit people who are already part of one.

But this story, which is appearing on professional websites which are at least half-way to being "big media", is also a warning to journalists, in my view.

It's a fun little story. But where does it come from?

A guy calling himself "Tale" wrote the following on an internet forum:

I met with a recruiter recently (online media industry) and in conversation I happened to mention I'd spent way too much time in the early 2000s playing online games, which I described as "the ones before World of Warcraft" (I went nuts for EQ1, SWG and the start of WoW, but since 2006 I have only put a handful of days into MMOG playing - as opposed to discussing them - I've obsessed over bicycles and cycling instead).

He replied that employers specifically instruct him not to send them World of Warcraft players. He said there is a belief that WoW players cannot give 100% because their focus is elsewhere, their sleeping patterns are often not great, etc. I mentioned that some people have written about MMOG leadership experience as a career positive or a way to learn project management skills, and he shook his head. He has been specifically asked to avoid WoW players.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 03:08:13 PM by Tale »

"Learn to ride a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live." - Mark Twain

And that's it. So it's the equivalent of the man down the pub, always a great source of copy but perhaps best not to depend on without checking elsewhere.

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About me

Jonathan Walker Political Editor of the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Sunday Mercury, Coventry Telegraph, Newcastle Journal, Newcastle Chronicle and Sunday Sun.

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Email jonathan@walkerjon.com (but please send press releases to my work email which is
jon.walker@trinitymirror.com, as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

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