Friday, June 08, 2012

The blogs - first with the reviews

Sitting at the Jazzdor Berlin festival over the past few days, something really occurred to me about why the internet is winning out against printed newspapers and magazines more and more. It comes from being struck by Sebastian Scotney of Londonjazz rushing out of the gigs, just before they finished, so that he could post his review by 1 a.m. on the same night. Similar actions came from Philippe Méziat of Jazz Magazine and Lothar Jänichen of Deutschland Radio.
And it suddenly dawned on me that one of the reasons why the internet is winning out more and more is that they are doing things that we trusted the press to do many years ago. Lots of prompt reviews by knowledgeable writers.
It's often the case in old Hollywood movies where they get the next day's papers to read the reviews. We know that some of them were able to close shows by the second night.
Less and less was it the case over recent years. Reviews have become more sparse in the press and magazines, shorter and less timely. Now, editors will probably argue that it's due to lower sales and higher costs. But could it be that it was an arrogance on their part, in dumbing down and being less timely, that in part has led to their demise?
Actually, the blogs and internet guys are taking their business because they are doing what the journalists and newspapers ought to have been doing for the past few years. 

I saw similarly a complaint from Martin Laurentius of Jazzthing about the poor quality of some reviews of the Jazz Echo awards in Germany last week. I was reminded of the comment from Wittgenstein - one of the only ones that I can remember from the enigmatic philosopher: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."

Perhaps it's too late for the newspapers and main magazines to recover the ground? Actually, they probably don't even want to. And they set up their models of the press and complain incessantly about the internet. Which is, for me, a great shame. I love physical books and newspapers and would dearly love them all to survive. And to go out and buy them again. I have fallen out of love with the newspapers as they are at present.

No comments: