A recent article circulating the net opined that “Music Criticism Has Degenerated Into Lifestyle Reporting” which, as a music news editor myself, felt more than a little like some sort of character attack. Many among us are used to friends and family members not thinking ours is a worthwhile profession (my parents still name-drop that I’ve interviewed Gary Numan to every family friend we meet in the street, as some sort of legitimate currency that my life is marginally important), but coming under fire from those within your own industry seems a little strange. You wouldn’t hear an accountant ridiculing a tax manager or an advertiser calling someone in marketing a yuppie now would you?
Sure, many aspects of the original piece ring true: much of music news these days is on the same level as that of celebrity culture. Who is collaborating with who? Who has had Twitter beef with who? What indie power couple are breaking up and thus proving once and for all that true love doesn’t exist? Whether we kid ourselves or not, this is the exact same rhetoric as TMZ and the like. But please don’t blame us lowly news editors, trawling the internet at ungodly hours, we’re simply representative of your own wants and needs. And you’re just as bad as us.
You see, it’s hard to hide your footprints on the internet and we’re at least in charge of the facts and figures, the traffic and stats, all those guilty pleasure clicks and hits you indulge in then delete from your internet history. You can insult Buzzfeed listicles as much as you like, but you still shared that article about Burial posting a selfie, didn’t you? And we’re glad you did, because you don’t need to be ashamed or embarrassed. That was a simply beautiful sight.