In light of the new year (albeit a month in), I’d like to revisit one of the main fads that have of course always been popular, but really blew up in 2016. Blaming the media for all of our problems. Because, you see, the media is the cause of all of our deep-rooted insecurities, the reason why ‘undeserving’ celebrities are bigger than they should be, and – staying true to the theme of this blog – the reason why genuinely good music isn’t given the exposure it deserves. This article is especially for those who feel this way. So, let’s put a face to this hellish beast that ruins everything. Who is in control of this so-called ‘media’?
Well, let’s start by looking at the way other professions function. In retail, when a certain product doesn’t sell well, what happens to it? It’s discontinued. In food, when a certain menu item gets a poor response, what happens to it? It’s removed from the menu. In general, when something receives little or poor response, it’s either upgraded or completely removed from existence. It’s basic supply and demand whereby the public are in total control of what happens in these situations because they are the ones these products are made for. In short, things do not sell unless people are buying them. So why do people think that the media runs differently?
If you really hated the gossip and artificiality of certain publications, you wouldn’t indulge in them. And if that happened, they wouldn’t be published; they would be upgraded or discontinued. But they’re not, which means they’re obviously being sold. You can bitch about the media shoving celebrity gossip down our throats but perhaps if you stopped swallowing it all, then they’d give us what we claim to want. But that’s not what you really want, is it? It’s quite ironic how the people that hate ‘crappy’ news sources still read them and know the most about them.
My frustration was inspired by the recent end of one of the best music journalism platforms to ever exist – Teamrock. There are numerous music magazines that are thriving because their covers feature what’s most popular and their articles include mindless gossip about band members. What we saw in magazines like Metal Hammer was genuine reviews, features and overall content about what matters in music. And to be honest, it’s annoying as hell to hear society blaming the media – writers and publications alike – for what is most popular in the news when popularity is determined solely by readers. You are the ones fuelling the demon that you call ‘the media’. Consuming the crap and leaving the good stuff to go to dust. So, the next time you’re about to insult any form of publication for it saying something that you don’t like, consider the fact that if you and everyone alike weren’t reading it to begin with, it wouldn’t even exist.