HOW DOES MUSIC JOURNALISM DIFFER FROM TRADITIONAL JOURNALISM?

For a lot of people, staying out late and talking to various musicians is the dream. For music journalists it’s just one part of a long day’s work.
When you’re not out living ‘the high life’ you’re locked away in your room listening to music all day, getting to know the ins and outs of note after note. Then you go and write about it, examining every little detail, just like the obsessive girl who writes letters about her latest crush to her most loyal of companions, “Dear Diary.” The job is then very much reminiscent of our teenage years. However, would you make the same comparison for someone writing about the latest war? Probably not.

An article on Drowned In Sound sees music journalist Ben Myers take us through an average day in his life. Sitting down, listening to music, drinking tea, writing here and there – it’s not exactly the ‘up and at ’em’ lifestyle of a traditional journalist.
Then again we are talking about very different types of journalism here. A music journalist provides their opinion and in order to do so efficiently we need to soak up the music as much as possible. Traditional journalists, however more highly esteemed they may be, are telling us what is going on and why, but not always evaluating it in their own way. We can generally question the opinion of a music journalist, however we must take the traditional journalists’ words as they are.

Another difference is the amount of negativity surrounding music journalism, everyone’s going on about the gloomy future that awaits us – “You are no longer a critic. You are a curator, and an unpaid one at that. People are reading you because they assume you have specialist knowledge, not because you can argue brilliantly.” This is just one of many blunt responses to the future by Everett True on The Music Network. Having also heard from a very bitter Simon Price earlier this academic year, it is clear that the general opinion that music journalism is slowly going down the pan, however traditional journalism remains seemingly untarnished.
Perhaps it’s the new technology, the ability to preview an album before we buy; the public no longer need to read about music when listening to it has never been easier.

References:
Myers, B. (2009) A Day In The Life Of A Music Journalist. [online] Available at: http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4137401 [Accessed: 14 May 2013].
True, E. (2010) The Future of Music Journalism by Everett True – Music Industry – The Music Network. [online] Available at: http://www.themusicnetwork.com/music-features/industry/2010/08/17/the-future-of-music-journalism-by-everett-true [Accessed: 14 May 2013].

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