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5 Minutes with Shaun Prescott

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
Shaun Prescott wears a few hats around Sydney’s Future Publishing offices, typically while holding a game controller (or keyboard and mouse). But don’t check if he’s on Twitter. Here’s his 5 Minutes.
 
What do you do and where does your work appear?
I'm an Australian editor for PC Gamer. I also write for APC, occasionally Techradar and Gamesradar, and work on the Official PlayStation magazine.
 
Anything else in your career you’ve been known for?
Just writing. 
 
What did you really want to be when you were growing up?
I mainly wanted to write. I also wanted to be a person living in the future.
 
Which story or stories are you most proud of?
I don't really feel proud. I feel satisfied sometimes. 
 
What are three top tips you can give PR pros for working with you effectively?
I'm not in a position to give advice to PR pros - they know their job better than I do. I get a lot of PR material, both from local teams and abroad, so my only advice is personal: I'll definitely reply if something is likely to result in a story.
 
How do you like to start a PR relationship if you've never been in touch before?
Just email me. Shaun.prescott@futurenet.com
 
How do you hunt for good stories?
On the rare occasion that I get to stretch my legs and write outside the news cycle, I don't feel like much hunting is required. In games, there's always a fascinating overlooked title that is worth a good 800 words, or a great angle on a dedicated community. There's always someone I really want to talk to. 
 
What's been the biggest change in the industry over the past decade?
Social media has become a vice. Nowadays everyone knows it's bad for them, that it's changing their mood, that they're being exploited. But they're trapped.
 
What do you think is the most important issue facing the tech industry today?
Exploitative supply chains. Privacy.
 
What's the biggest issue facing journalism?
General media illiteracy seems to be a problem. People can mistake a three par news blast for a review - that's just one fairly benign example.  I can sympathise with the growing antipathy towards the media. Navigating that with care, and without becoming emotional or defensive, is important. Sometimes I feel like media workers are at war with their more vocal readers. If you must engage (and most of the time you don't have to), do so diplomatically. 
 
Exclusives are everything. Discuss.
Embargos are everything.
 
What do you wish you'd never have to explain to readers ever again?
That a 100 word passage in a listicle isn't a review. 
 
Who do you admire most in the industry and why?
I admire every journalist who hasn't made the switch to PR. But no disrespect to those who have: you've got to live.
 
Which industry publications, podcasts or other productions are on your unmissable list?
I really only watch ultra-technical youtube videos about speedrunning, breaking barriers in games... things like that. Enthusiasts making two hour long documentaries about the most niche aspects of gaming is really inspiring to me. My beat is so general that I find a lot of solace in this kind of material: there's so much passion and spirit in it. Aside from that, there are dozens if not hundreds of publications in my RSS that I'll graze every day.
 
How do you keep up with what your colleagues are writing?
RSS feeds.
 
Which app has changed your life more than any other?
Most apps have changed my life for the worse. I used to be addicted to Twitter, so I deleted it, and like a reformed smoker I scold anyone still on it. Trip View was great but hasn't been of much use this year. Skip was good because I hated waiting for coffee - now I don't have to order coffees anymore. Fires Near Me is handy.
 
Favourite screen-free hobbies?
Reading books and walking.
 
What’s your go-to song at karaoke?
Living on a Prayer. A very boring choice, but it's undeniable. If you can nail the key change you deserve to move on to better things. 
 
What's your favourite game of all time?
The Yakuza series is utterly in a league of its own. Aside from that, Spelunky and old Doom.
 
Name five discs you'd want to be stuck with on a desert island?
I listen to music all day and then while I'm asleep, so it changes a lot. At the moment:
Transcendence into the Periphery - Disembowelment
PopArt - Pet Shop Boys
We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves - John Maus
Konigsforst - Gas
Cross Record - Cross Record
 
What's the most ridiculous buzzword in the industry?
Creatives. Content creators. Content. Core pillars. I hate the word "robust". I love words, so naturally they annoy me a lot too, and often.
 

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