Hello listeners and Happy May!
I want to start off by thanking all of you for your love and support during our one year anniversary last month! It really means the world to us to have people who have stuck by us during such a crucial year! We look forward to working with you and delivering more great music in the years to come.
The fact that it’s been a year already has my mind in a frenzy – which brings me to an issue that I need to speak up on.
Lately I’ve been thinking about what it really means to be a music journalist in this day and age. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’ve never felt like I’ve belonged in this industry and the more I indulge in conversation with others in this field, I’m starting to see things a lot more clearly. I’m noticing the cliquey nature of others and how their definitions of what a music journalist should be nowhere near matches our version. That’s okay, though. Opinions are great and the more I see what bothers me, the more determined I am to be the change I want to see. We’re all about community here – buildings others up not for our own benefit but for the greater good. It’s amazing what can happen when people get together for something they all believe in. Where’s the sense of community in this industry?
I’m not afraid of admitting that there are a lot of things I still need to learn. I guess you could say my curiosity has the ability to kill me as I am always looking for an answer to what I don’t already know. The deeper I get into this field, the more I want to learn. I’ve heard opinions from others – whether it be in journalism to photography to PR – who all, in some shape or form, think being selfish is the way to go in this industry, making it harder and more intimidating for rookies to get anywhere without being discounted. I’ve noticed instances when people who are just starting out aren’t being coached or given any opportunities to grow because they’re automatically deemed “useless.” How is any of that okay?! We all have to start somewhere and more often than not, we’re all doing it on our own because we don’t have someone who can just hand us a job we’re probably not even qualified for in the first place.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before – how this industry is oversaturated with blogs and the term “music journalist” has become worn out; how it should be saved for the members of the big leagues. So that leaves me wondering: WHAT DOES THAT MAKE US?
What makes someone a real music journalist? Is it site stats? The publication you write for? Social media followings? The gender card? How many bands you know personally or how many you’ve royally pissed off? Is it working for a major publication who finds you disposable at any second? Is it the people you’ve mistreated along the way?
I don’t take what I do for granted. I’ve worked hard over the years for what I want and I wouldn’t be where I am right now if I gave up because I wasn’t getting paid or wasn’t a part of a bigger publication. You’ll never see me, or any of my writers, asking for a press ticket or photo pass just for a night of partying. In fact, if any of those credentials are denied, we’ll be the first ones at the box office buying a ticket for ourselves then going home and writing about the band’s performance, despite how we may have been treated.
If I have to write a nasty review, format my site the way everyone else runs theirs, write about things everyone else is writing about, be a jerk to everyone around me and discredit everything others have worked for, then maybe the term “music journalist” needs a revival of sorts. Who wants to work with crap like that, anyway?
It’s not about us, it’s about the music. Always has and always will be. If that doesn’t make us real music journalists, then I really don’t know what is.
You can go on whining on your high horse about how there’s too many journalists out there. We’ll be over here working our butts off so people like you are only a distant memory.
Listen. Love. Share. Repeat.