The Australian music industry’s least favourite expat, music journalist Everett True, has mouthed off again about local street press, how it has no future and is basically rubbish.
In a blog on The Music Network’s revamped website entitled ‘The Future of Music Journalism’, he states that â€œthe street press only exists because advertising deems it importantâ€.
Street press will wither and die
This one is self-evident. Itâ€™s an archaic form, barely formulated and carried out in an astonishingly surly manner. The street press only exists because advertising agents deem it important. What happens when the new breed of ad rep comes in, grown up on the Internet?
Why would they waste their clientsâ€™ money on something that has no purpose, beyond local information. But everyone accesses their local information online these days. Guess record companies really do like to be seen to be doing something for their artists: itâ€™s all smoke and mirrors and no meaning.
OK, a few things:
- Where would local bands get their start if no one was willing to interview and review them?
- When he says â€œwhy would they waste their clients’ money on something that has no purpose, beyond local information?â€ True seems to forget that most advertisers in Streetpress ARE local. Bands, venues, music shops, etc â€“ why would they advertise elsewhere?
- Like everything else, Streetpress exists both online and in print format these days, just like other formerly print only publications that manage to have a strong online presence and still exist in their traditional format, like NME or Rolling Stone (obviously on a much larger scale).
It should be noted that there are some points in his post that I agree on, including his observation that timeliness is key in an increasingly online media world: â€œEven newspapers canâ€™t be bothered with comprehensive coverage these days. What matters on the Internet is being FIRST, not the story itself.â€
In case you have no idea who Everett True is, basically his biggest claims to fame are that he was besties with Kurt and Courtney and was responsible for introducing them and he was once fired from NME.
This isn’t the first time Everett True has proclaimed his hatred of Australian street press. Just two weeks after moving to our country in 2008, True lambasted our fine local publications â€“ and not even to our face! In his first column in UK paper The Guardian the man basically said we have no decent music publications in Australia.
There’s jmag – a made-to-order magazine produced by Melbourne’s Triple J radio station that does a passable imitation of NME. There’s Australian Rolling Stone – like American Rolling Stone only with added Silverchair. There’s a slew of hard rock magazines and imports of Uncut, Mojo and Q littering the newsstands – plus a handful of artistic-leaning “style bibles” that appear for a few months and fade into the ether. And then there’s the street press…
For starters, Triple J is from Sydney not Melbourne – everyone knows that.
He also described street press as â€œbadly-designed publications that nobody bothers to read and everyone throws away after glancing through the live ads.â€
Most people with an interest in local music reads street press, for a variety of reasons: they want to know what to do on the weekend, they want to read the columns and find out the local gossip, they want to know what the resident singles nazi thought of their friends’ latest release, they want to see if they got their drunk face in the social pictures, they want to know if the resident reviewer thought the gig the other night was as crap/good as they did, they want to find out what the deal is with that band they saw the other night and what makes them tick.
Also, I dare say that 99.9% of successful Australian music journalists would have gotten much of their experience writing for their local rag, if they’re not still contributing in some way today.
To be honest in Australia we’re very lucky to have so much homegrown music content locally. Every capital has their own streetpress â€“ some cities, have two. Where else would local bands and music journalists be heard?
There is so much more to be said on this man and this topic, but it’s hard not to go into too much detail without this blog turning into a thesis.
Disclosure: please note that I have been a contributor to Melbourne’s Beat magazine for the past two and a half years.
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