ERIC Number: ED309441
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Music Critic in the American Press: A Nationwide Survey of Newspapers and Magazines.
Wyatt, Robert O.; Hull, Geoffrey P.
Despite the pervasive presence of popular music in society and the continued controversy over its effects on children and teen-agers, the recording industry has received only fragmentary (though increasing) attention from mass media researchers. To gain evidence of the level of literacy of today's music critics, a study examined the tastes, prejudices, and predispositions of an important group of gatekeepers of popular taste--the music critics. Subjects, 160 magazine and newspaper critics (20% of the population originally surveyed) representing every major metropolitan area in the nation, responded to a questionnaire. Findings revealed that: (1) newspaper and magazine music criticism differs significantly in one particular way, i.e., though the numbers are small, magazines exclude negative reviews as a matter of policy significantly more than do newspapers; (2) whether by policy or not, music critics estimate that they write few negative reviews, categorizing only about one-fifth of their reviews as negative while reporting about one-half as positive; (3) music critics regard both negative and positive reviews as more influential than mixed reviews; (4) music critics overwhelmingly oppose various warning, rating, and labeling schemes; (5) critics assign highest priority to genuinely popular music genres, with rock leading the pack, followed by soul, jazz, and country; and (6) music critics assign high importance to diversion, escape from reality, and companionship in assessing the functions of music, but relatively low priority to sexual experience and thrills. (Four tables of data and 32 notes are included.) (MS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A