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'Spin Doctor #7: Vigilante (Music) Journalism' by Stuart Evans

Author: Stuart Evans
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Vigilante (Music) Journalism

A recent poll reported that journalists were ranked as low as real estate agents and property developers as the least trusted profession. That's hardly a good sign for those who are guided by ethics and a sense of duty to report the facts and only the facts. The media are changing and embracing new methods of reporting.

The age of 'Citizen Joe reporting' is here and it's calling you - the reader/listener - to provide the hard data. Upcoming media writers, those studying the craft, can help.

After all, being 'young' has many benefits. For starters, there's little in the way of monthly bills (apart from the obligatory mobile/cell bill, of course); there's a future of opportunity lying in wait, and a chance to stamp your authority on anything you please. A vast generalisation it may be, but while dance music is one industry that can benefit from the technological changes, these changes come at a price.

The internet gives people a voice. The net is the ultimate communication tool; you speak and people listen. Before a DJ releases a mix it's being scrutinized on web columns, forums and blogs. It's open assault for anyone from America to Fiji. The critics are everybody, synonymous with the impersonal touch of the net. Some comments are unfairly cruel, some are merited, yet it's mass marketing where consumers, clubbers and patrons provide the reporting.

Some comments are made with little musical knowledge and justification and are devoid of any level of objectivity. If you like music and entertainment and enjoy writing about it, the net is perfectly geared to harness your talents.

The net is providing a plethora of music writers, so if music is your thing, contribute carefully. Look for websites with a solid history (such as this one). Look at the calibre of reviewers, columnists and content. It's your right to air opinions and concerns.

Slagging off djs, producers and artists via a blog or forum is fairly common these days. Everyone is a journalist and a reporter. Journalism needs a decent PR campaign, and music journalism needs an integrated one.

Let me know your thoughts - email me on

Stuart Evans runs Vibe Communications - a PR and communications agency dedicated to the music and entertainment industry.