Screenshot of Decisions on Deadline game interface.

Decisions on Deadline: Journalism Game

May 06, 2014 by Craig Phillips in Test Your Knowledge


Connected to Samantha Grant’s film A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at The New York Times, which premiered this week on Independent Lens (check local listings to see if it’s airing again in your area), we’ve collaborated with the filmmakers on a new game that explores the ethical debate central to Blair’s story. As Grant notes in our interview with her,

My hope is that this film, in combination with “Decisions on Deadline,” the companion game project that teaches journalism ethics in a fun and interactive way, will cause an uptick in the national conversation about journalism ethics in the digital age, restoring public faith in the media, and the future of journalism.  I want to inspire people to start really talking about this (both the public and journalists) and I want to be part of the conversation. Beyond just talking, I am really interested in efforts to actually build a few tools that might help in some of these efforts.

Decisions on Deadline is a fun and fast-paced browser and tablet-based journalism game that puts players in the shoes of working journalists as they report on the daily drama of life in Southside, a fictional American town.

Decisions on Deadline game

A player plays the role of reporter working against the clock and under a strict budget to figure out the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of a breaking news story, all while navigating difficult ethical decisions facing all journalists working in the digital age.

Should you use Twitter as a source? Should you accept a gift from a subject? Can you become Facebook friends with someone you’re reporting on? These are just some of the questions DOD journalists need to consider as they sort through emails and voice messages, travel, conduct interviews and research, and review documents — all to get to the bottom of what really happened for any given assignment.

To learn more about the game and then go play it, go here >>

[direct link to game]

Craig Phillips

Craig is the digital content producer for Independent Lens, based in San Francisco. He is a film nerd, cartoonist, classic film poster collector, wannabe screenwriter, and owner of/owned by cats.