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"I prefer their early stuff" : the effects of online music journalism on the authority of the popular music critic

posted on 17.05.2017, 02:01 by Takru, Radhika
This thesis examines the impact of the internet on the practice of music journalism focussing specifically on how the advent of online music journalism has had an effect on the authority of the popular music critic. While the practice of popular music journalism has received a fair amount of scholarly attention, research on the subject has not kept pace with the advances in media technology. Currently, there are few studies on popular music journalism that take into consideration how the practice has changed and been affected by the mainstream adoption of the internet. This thesis thus contributes towards filling this void in academic literature on online journalism, music journalism and popular culture. In order to answer its research question, the thesis looks into the functions that have, in the past, defined the role of a music critic, and establishes the authority of the popular music critic through the prototypes of Lester Bangs, Stephen Wells, and Robert Christgau, before going on to analyse and contrast the features of online music journalism with those of print journalism. These analyses are supplemented with examples of different kinds of online journalism - leading the thesis to draw out the three major traits specific to online music journalism that serve as a threat to the traditional authority of the popular music critic.


Principal supervisor

Mark Gibson

Additional supervisor 1

Tony Moore

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Journalism, Australian and indigenous Studies

Degree Type



Faculty of Arts