05.12.14

I explain music journalism to a young star

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Rock 'n' Roll, Shoeshine at 12:00 pm by George Smith

At RockNYCLiveandRecorded, a music website edited by Iman Lababedi, an old regular at the long defunct Creem magazine:

Stenography, that is to say, the passing on of favorable publicity and hagiography, is the major business practice of the mainstream media. Having the temerity of daring opinion in relationship to power, or money or whatever the majority feels is great consumer stuff, went badly out of fashion in the last few decades. So Lorde can be forgiven for believing something stupid, but which sounds superficially fair on first hearing, about the original nature of entertainment writing.

Stenography, or the rote passing on of free publicity, is a decades old problem, spread across many genres of journalism.

When I started writing for the Morning Call newspaper of Allentown in the late Eighties it came at a time when the entertainment sectionís function was to be exactly that ó providing of stenographers for the local arts people and those coming through town.

When that changed to sending in reports that frequently afflicted those deserving of it, it created a substantial short term fit. The assistant managing editor did not at all like getting angry phone calls on Monday morning, the first time he could be reached after the weekend bits had run. There was no e-mail you could just delete. You had to listen to grumpy people on the phone. In his estimation, the job of features section journalists was to make their subjects happy …

Read all of it.

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