Music journalists are those who write about music and the music industry. Music journalists can be enthusiasts, collectors, professionals, or enthusiasts of an entire genre. Music jockeys are a rare breed of journalists; instead they are usually reporters, critics, or photographers that cover music from various angles.
Music journalism is critical reporting and criticism about music matters, including classical music, popular music, and alternative music. This type of multimedia journalism started in the late eighteenth century, offering comment on what was then considered classical music. A few decades later, newspaper columns featured music reviews and criticism. The first music magazines to review concerts, artists, and songs appeared in magazines published by major publishing houses like The New York Times. In the early twentieth century, freelance writers were also invited by music companies to write about their subjects.
As social media took off, music journalists discovered they had a new source for talking to and documenting artists. Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter have changed the way people communicate. Musicians have taken to these sites to promote their music and build fan bases. Many bloggers, critics, and fans have turned to these sites to discuss their opinions about artists and the music they like or dislike. These musicians often correspond with other musicians and discuss their art and careers.
Music journalist profiles of artists are written to inform readers about the artist, their music, their careers, personal lives, politics, and anything else of interest. If the artist is not well known, some of these profiles might not get read because the general public does not follow the music scene. They are quite helpful to those new to the music scene because they show up in the news because they are important people, not because they are celebrities. This is one reason these publications are indispensable for anyone interested in the arts. The fact that these types of publications exist says something about the culture of the time.
For those who wish to write articles about music journalism, the first step is to find a few published publications to target. Freelance writers can find work from established music journalists by looking through Internet search results or contacting music journalists directly. The Internet provides a good place to look because of the number of websites that publish music business news and information.
Most newspapers and magazines prefer freelance writers who reside within the country in which the newspaper or magazine is published. This is because they want to limit their local knowledge about the issues and concerns of the audience and avoid alienating them. Music journalists can find work from music related magazines and newspapers because they often submit articles for publication. Some magazines and newspapers may also be willing to accept unsolicited submissions, but some editors reject all submissions. In this case, the writer will need to send a sample of his or her work to the editors in order to convince them of their ability.