Conflict and collaboration

the press officer/journalist nexus in the British music press of the late 1990s


  • Eamonn Forde Journalist



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.

Author Biography

Eamonn Forde, Journalist

Eamonn Forde completed his PhD at the University of Westminster in 2001. He has worked at the Association of Independent Music—the UK trade body for independent record companies. Since 2002, he has been the editor of music business and strategy magazine Five Eight. He is also the managing editor of the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers’ Year Book. He is a contributor to The Wordmagazine. Frukt Music 13-19 Vine Hill London EC1R 5DX


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How to Cite

Forde, E. (2004). Conflict and collaboration: the press officer/journalist nexus in the British music press of the late 1990s. Popular Music History, 1(3), 285–306.