Music Critics Don’t Need to Be Recognized

Pro-Tip: The worst thing you can do for yourself as a music journalist is the pursuit of clout. Or that feeling that you should be recognized. It clouds your judgement and devalues your work. Chase a story if it matters. Analyse from many perspectives, and seek to balance it out.

Cynicism and skepticism are not intelligence. The possession and generous sharing of knowledge is the only true mark of intelligence of your profession. Don’t let people fool you, you are not the hand of Justice or the face of retribution. You are a journalist. Tell stories!

If you seek clout as an end, you will end in destruction and sadness. It will drive you crazy. You will lose yourself. Your words will become vultures, feeding on the dead parts of a whole growing industry. Your job is to help people see the light. Not become the center of hate.

Choose your friends carefully. Let them love and inspire you to go on. Journalism, when done right, is a tough, frustrating homework. There’s no glitter to all that task. You will need genuine love and affection to keep you alive and firing. It helps when that feeling hits hard.

Finally, you have to grow. And there is no one way to do it. It’s personal. Find and write the best stories. Embed yourself in your culture and learn. Don’t argue music online. Focus on teaching. You can’t know more than a proven creator or industry businessman. Learn everyday!

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About the Author: Joey Akan

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