My Opinion On The Evolution Of Music News On The Web

I recently received a comment from a fellow class mate/friend from my Computer Mediated Communications Class on one of my posts. As I was responding to her insightful questions, I realized that not only was I writing a paper in the reply box, but that my response could be an interesting thing for others to read as well.

Here is what she posted/asked:
I really like your blog! I really haven’t been using my blog for anything else besides Comm 170, but yours has inspired me to add images and talk about a wider range of topics. On a different note, I am also a metal fan so I think it’s pretty cool that you report on the latest in the industry. So, I want to know, do you find blogging the best way to communicate about metal news and concert info? Was there any other medium you previous used to do so before you started blogging? When did you start reporting? Do you see your blog as a form of resume building for a possible future in journalism? Okay, enough with the 20 questions haha. In summary– Cool blog, keep posting!
-Juliet Tripaldi

First of all, thank you so much for all the kind words Juliet. I am extremely pleased to see that you are enjoying my blog. Let me try to answer your questions. I should note, however, I do not consider myself to be fully knowledgable about music journalist. I am still very new at this. However, I am more than happy to share my experiences thus far.

I think blogging is a great way to communicate about music news in general. Not only does it help spread information about music to the public, it is also a great way for fans to stay connected to the music. It in a sense gives fans the power over promoting music. However, the only downfall is that because there are so many blogs from so many people, not as many blogs will most likely get viewed or just won’t be recognized. Also, unless you have your own inside sources in the industry, blogs will need to get their news from other online sources, which is fine since there are many great websites which I will mention in a bit. Thus blogs can’t be seen as the fastest source. However, blogs still remain a great platform for music lovers to discuss their passion.

I think the strongest source for music news is still web sites. The biggest one is Blabbermouth.net, which is basically CNN for metal news. The site I have been contributing to, Metalinsider.net, is great because it also analyses the industry aspect in addition to band news. Other great sites are Lambgoat.com, Metalsucks.net, and Metalinjection.net (and these are just a few). Since they sometimes cover the same stories, it can occasionally seem as if there isn’t a variety of news sources. However, compared to what it used to be, it is pretty amazing how many sources there are. I remember as a kid that the only place I could find music news was on MTV (when ever they did the news ticker at the end of each hour). I remember when I found out that MTV News had there own website full of more news, I was blown away (and remember, that was still very limited, though not as much as it is today). So when I discovered sites like Blabbermouth.net that features not only ten times the amount of news as MTV, but also solely dedicated to rock and metal … well lets just say I’ve never been the same.

As for when I started reporting, I guess it started when I discovered that Blabbermouth.net had a “submit news” section. Before, I never thought that the average site visitor could provide news for the king of all metal news sources. So whenever I saw a news piece on a band’s website, facebook, or twitter, I would send them the link to the news. Sure enough, I would get credited for it (ZShaw the Metal Clarkie was my alias). However, it was until my second year in college when I began writing. I still write cd and concert reviews for Clark’s Newspaper, the Scarlett. As for my role at Metalinsider.net, it started out with me simply submitting a question to the tip section. This ended up leading me to having an email discussion with one of the main editors of the site throughout the entire summer. And the rest, as they say, is history (cheesy I know, sorry).

To be completely honest, one of the main reasons for having this blog (besides for the class and to express my own opinions) is to create a portfolio of my work. A great piece of advice that I read in Do The Devil’s Work For Him… by Amy Sciarretto and Rick Florino is that if you are trying to become a music writer, creating your own website or blog is a great way to showcase your own writing. I had been meaning to create my own blog since this past summer, but the class gave me the push to actually do it. However, even when the class is done, I want to keep updating my blog with my work. So I absolutely agree that a blog is a great tool for anyone interested in journalism. It won’t assure anything, but it is still a great start and a great way to gain a little experience. I strongley encourage everyone interested in being in the industry to check out Do The Devil’s Work For Him … by Sciarretto and Florino. It is truly insightful and will inspire you to further your dream.

I hope that the thing you take away from this piece is that while it takes a lot of time and passion, it isn’t impossible to do. If you had told me five years ago that I would be this involved with writing for music, I would have said “Yeah, like that would happen”. I’ve always considered providing news for a blog or web site as a position I could never obtain. Granted, I am far far far away from being a professional. I still have a lot to learn and a lot of experience to gain. However, what I’ve learned from my experience thus far is that as long as you are willing to take a chance and put in the time, then you can make it happen. If you are extremely passionate about music, then there is nothing to lose. Do as much writing as you can and take as many chances as possible (whether it is submitting your writing to a newspaper or website or simply creating your own blog). Do what ever you can to create more experience for yourself.

Hope I answered your questions/didn’t go overboard too much.

-Zach Shaw

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