Conflict and collaboration
the press officer/journalist nexus in the British music press of the late 1990s
Keywords:Music industry press, Press officers, music journalism
This article considers the organizational, socio-professional and cultural links between press officers (PRs) and music journalists working in the UK music industry and music press in the late 1990s. Drawing on extensive fieldwork and first-hand interviews, the article analyses how these industry professionals co-existed as ‘cultural intermediaries’ and were required to negotiate a complex set of institutional and personal relationships. As both Bourdieu (1986; 1993) and Negus (1996) have argued, the socio-professional worlds of cultural intermediaries are tightly interconnected and heavily self-referential. This article argues that within the music industry and music press there was a clear, and indeed intentional, blurring of the boundaries between the formal and the informal in how these two organizationally distinct professions worked and socialized together. The occupational dynamics of these two groups became inscribed within a complex cultural and professional exchange that operated and was maintained simultaneously on a formal and an informal level.
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