This post by One Louder spoke very loudly to me. Entitled “Full Disclosure: Who’s Being Promoted and Who’s Promoting It,” it is a simple and concise argument that music bloggers (and web publishers in general) have a direct conflict of interest if they are writing about albums, shows, or festivals while receiving free promotional materials or something in return for such editorial content. Or something like that…
In a complete effort to remain 100% faithful to that small premise, henceforth, all freebies that I write about will be accompanied by a small byline disclosing those freebies and where they came from.
I started to get all jarbled and mixed up in the whole, “well, there’s this sweet Brothers Past show coming up that I want to go to, I’m going to ask Madison House for a press pass in…” thing without realizing that I’m accepting a form of payola. Sorta.
The truth is, you need to make sure that the opinion you’re receiving from me is completely unbiased. Fully. I’ve always written about all free shows and all free CD’s I’ve received with the same candor I would otherwise, but my own mind is not powerful enough to overcome such psychological effects of receiving free stuff in the hopes that I would write about it.
No more of that noise…
Also, I would call on all of us to start actively determining if the sources that we call sources are at this point of unbiased editorial content, even though their model is to make money by selling placements and advertising. I know they’re mixing content and it’s starting to scare me. I just know it.
And again, it’s not to say that I haven’t (unintentionally) done this in the past. That’s why I’m nipping it right now.
Feel free to email me any questions you might have, and just know that if you’re interested in pushing a product in my direction, that PR channel will be made completely public. FYI.
About the author
Justin Ward is the Editor at Live Music Blog and has been with the site from the very beginning. He currently lives in San Francisco and regularly tweets other stuff over @justinpward.
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