Is Music Journalism in a Critical Condition?
The UK music scene once supported four weekly music papers, which wielded the power to form the musical agenda in a way that’s unimaginable today. Of these, only the NME staggers on in managed decline, along with an ever dwindling number of monthly magazines. The changing ways we consume music and the rise of the internet have radically changed the musical landscape, and perhaps this is a good thing. Those weeklies were notoriously bad at covering certain genres, and the internet has enabled a much wider range of writers to share the music they love. On the other hand it has yet to find a reliable way to pay them to do so. Are the days of making a living from music journalism over?
Joining Neil Denny of the Little Atoms Radio Show to explore this question, and to share tales of private jets and rainy nights at the Northampton Roadmender, are the journalists Andrew Mueller, Charles Shaar Murray, Jude Rogers and David Stubbs.
Andrew Mueller is a rock critic, travel writer, foreign correspondent, columnist, pundit and author. He is a Contributing Editor at Monocle, and also writes for The Guardian, The Telegraph, Uncut, and The New Humanist among others. His latest book is the memoir It’s Too Late to Die Young Now. When not writing, Andrew Mueller is the singer and songwriter with alt-country band The Blazing Zoos. Defunct music papers he’s written words for include Melody Maker, Vox and The Word.
Charles Shaar Murray is an author, broadcaster and former NME journalist. He is the author of several books, most recently Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Post-war Pop. A founding contributor to Q and Mojo magazines, he made his print debut in 1970 in the notorious “Schoolkids Issue” OZ. Currently he’s a regular contributor to Madam Miaow’s Culture Lounge on Resonance FM.
Jude Rogers is a columnist and music writer for The Guardian, Observer, The Quietus and the New Statesman. She’s the co-founder of quarterly magazine Smoke: A London Peculiar. She’s been on the Mercury Music Prize judging panel since 2007. Her radio documentary Mad About the Boy was on Radio 4 at the beginning of February.
David Stubbs joined the music magazine Melody Maker in 1986, where he worked for 12 years. His most famous creation, Mr Agreeablehas recently reawakened over at The Quietus. He has also written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire, When Saturday Comes and Uncut, and was a presenter of the Resonance FM football show Café Calcio. David is the author of numerous books, including the upcoming Future Days, a history of Krautrock which is published in August by Faber.