Conflict and collaboration

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

Authors

  • Eamonn Forde Journalist

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.2006.1.3.285

Keywords:

Music industry press, Press officers, music journalism

Abstract

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

References

Black, S. 1989. Introduction to Public Relations. London: Modino Press.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1986. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. London: Routledge.

—1993. The Field of Cultural Production. Cambridge: Polity.

Breen, Marcus. 1987. ‘Rock Journalism: Betrayal of the Impulse’. In Missing in Action: Australian Popular Music in Perspective, ed. M. Breen, 202–207. Melbourne: Verbal Graphics.

Burchill, Julie, and Tony Parsons. 1978. The Boy Looked at Johnny: The Obituary of Rock and Roll. London: Pluto Press.

Chapple, Steve, and Reebee Garofalo. 1980. Rock ’n’ Roll is Here to Pay: The History and Politics of the Music Industry. Chicago: Nelson-Hall.

Davis, Aeron. 2000. ‘Public Relations, News Production and Changing Patterns of Source Access in the British National Media’. Media, Culture & Society 22/1: 39–58.

DeRogatis, Jim. 2000. Let it Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs. London: Bloomsbury.

English, J. W. 1979. Criticizing the Critics. New York: Hastings House.

Evans, Mark. 1998. ‘ “Quality Criticism”: Music Reviewing in Australian Rock Magazines’. Perfect Beat 3/4: 38–50.

Forde, Eamonn. 2001. ‘From Polyglottism to Branding: On the Decline of Personality Journalism in the British Music Press’. Journalism 2/1: 23–43.

Frith, Simon. 1978. The Sociology of Rock. London: Constable.

—1983. Sound Effects: Youth, Culture and the Politics of Rock ’n’ Roll. London: Constable.

—1985. ‘Behind the Times’. In The Rock Yearbook, vol. 6, ed. Ian Cranna, 335–36. London: Virgin Books.

Gillett, Charlie. 1972. ‘So You Wanna Be a Rock ’n’ Roll Writer (Keep a Carbon)’. In Rock File, ed. Charlie Gillett, 61–72. London: New English Library.

Harley, Ross, and P. Botsman. 1982. ‘Between No Payola and the Cocktail Set: Rock ’n’ Roll Journalism’. In Theoretical Strategies, ed. P. Botsman, 231–63. Sydney: Local Consumption Publications.

Hattenstone, Simon. 1998. ‘Sure, have an exclusive interview with our star actor…’ The Guardian (‘Friday Review’ Section), August 21: 4–5.

Hoskyns, Barney. 1992. ‘The Meaning of Bile’. In The Penguin Book of Rock and Roll Writing, ed. Clinton Heylin, 106–16. London: Penguin.

Jones, Steve. 1993. ‘Popular Music, Criticism, Advertising and the Music Industry’. Journal of Popular Music Studies 5: 79–91. doi:10.1111/j.1533-1598.1993.tb00084.x

Kane, Pat. 1992. Tinsel Show: Pop, Politics, Scotland. Edinburgh: Polygon.

McNair, Brian. 1999. News and Journalism in the UK. London: Routledge.

Maconie, Stuart. 1999. Blur: 3862 Days—the Official History. London: Virgin Books.

Mathur, Paul. 1997. Take Me There: Oasis the Story. London: Bloomsbury.

Negus, Keith. 1992. Producing Pop: Culture and Conflict in the Popular Music Industry. London: Edward Arnold.

—1996. Popular Music in Theory. Cambridge: Polity.

Nowell, Robert. 1987. The Evolution of Rock Journalism at The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, 1956–1978: A Frame Analysis. Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana.

Pauly, J. J. 1990. ‘The Politics of New Journalism’. In Literary Journalism in the Twentieth Century, ed. N. Simms, 110–29. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pennell, M. 2000. ‘Hold the Front Page: Exclusive Coming’. Music Week, October 28: 33.

Pettigrew, Jim. 1989. The Billboard Guide to Music Publicity. New York: Billboard Books (an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications).

Price, Simon. 1999. Everything: A Book about The Manic Street Preachers. London: Virgin Books.

Rimmer, Dave. 1985. Like Punk Never Happened: Culture Club and the New Pop. London: Faber & Faber.

Robb, John. 1997. The Stone Roses and the Resurrection of British Pop. London: Ebury Press.

Schlesinger, Philip. 1978. Putting ‘Reality’ Together: BBC News. London: Constable.

Stapleton, Ross. 1982. ‘The Power of the Press’. In The Rock Yearbook, ed. Al Clark, 14–16. London: Virgin.

Stratton, Jon. 1982. ‘Between Two Worlds: Art and Commercialism in the Record Industry’. Sociological Review 30: 267–85.

Sutherland, Steve. 1998. ‘I’ve been rejecting you…’ NME, November 7: 18–20.

Théberge, Paul. 1991. ‘Musicians’ Magazines in the 1980s: The Creation of a Community and a Consumer Market’. Cultural Studies 5/3: 270–93. doi:10.1080/09502389100490231

Tunstall, Jeremy. 1971. Journalists at Work. London: Constable.

Wall, Mick. 1999. Paranoid: Black Days With Sabbath and Other Horror Stories. Edinburgh and London: Mainstream Publishing.

Wells, Steven. 1998. ‘Press Officer: Trying to Keep the Customer Satisfied’. Vox, February 20–23: 105.

White, David M. 1950. ‘The Gatekeeper: A Case Study in the Selection of News’. Journalism Quarterly 27: 383–90.

Wills, Dominic, and Tom Sheehan. 1999. The Charlatans. London: Virgin Books.

Published

2004-02-10

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. https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.2006.1.3.285

Issue

Section

Articles