DENTON – Former Dallas Observer music editor Sam Machkovech believes the internet is strangling local-music coverage into uncosciousness as print media – daily newspapers, alternative weeklies such as the Observer, even national specialty mags such as Filter, Magnet and the recently killed No Depression – jettisons its established music writers.
But while his NX35-sponsored talk today on the internet’s effect on taste making decried the disappearance of such critics – he’s now based in Seattle and works primarily as a video gaming writer for Slog, the weblog arm of Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger – he offered a solution.
Online outlets should pick a distinct tone that reflects both its writers’ and targeted readers’ tastes and stick with it. “You have to create a portal that covers everything, but from a particular perspective,” he said. That means expanding it beyond just music to other arts (visual arts, theater, even film) and using national topics to contextualize local content.
But the most important factor? Using the same writers who are local (and, thus, accessible) and who exhibit consistent and passionate tastes and personalities. After that’s all set, then worry about monetizing it.