Ballroom Dancing

SXSW panels

Ballroom Dancing
Photo by Gary Miller

The Blog Factor

Austin Convention Center, Friday, March 14

Music criticism is undergoing as dramatic a sea change as the rest of the industry, print increasingly ceding cultural cache to online sources. Hyping the significance of blogs' place in music's new indieconomics was a rightly moot point among the panel of premier tastemakers, who instead addressed concerns over the medium's blurred affiliations and critical obligations. At the forefront of the shift, Stereogum's Amrit Singh and DrownedinSound's Sean Adams waxed hesitant of the downsides of amateur online editing, while Matador Records co-owner Gerard Cosloy noted the effects of snap-judgment journalism bleeding over to many print publications, and Idolator's Maura Johnston proffered that "journalism all over is becoming devalued." Yet they all also drew a traditional line for blogs from, in Cosloy's words, "the glory days of fanzines" and acknowledged the medium's ability to develop a story or trend as it unfolds. The panel proved impressively self-critical, much more so than many of the company-boasting discussions at the conference, which reflected the top bloggers' keen sense of responsibility as the medium develops in both business and criticism. With the attention of both writers and readers shifting to online outlets, the panelists' concern for the medium's integrity harbingered a possible critical renaissance beyond print's fallout and blogging's tipping point.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

SXSW Gaming: Noclip Says Love Your Developers
SXSW Gaming: Noclip Says Love Your Developers
Danny O’Dwyer wants you to understand who is making your games

Tucker Whatley, March 16, 2019

SXSW Film Review: <i>The Day Shall Come</i>
Film Review: The Day Shall Come
British satirist Chris Morris takes aim at security theater

Richard Whittaker, March 16, 2019

More by Doug Freeman
Hot Luck Music Headliners Dig Into the Festival Menu
Hot Luck Music Headliners Dig Into the Festival Menu
Talking turkey with Archers of Loaf, Erika Wennerstrom, Robert Ellis, Sunflower Bean, the Suffers, and PJ Morton

May 24, 2019

Texas Platters
George Strait
Honky Tonk Time Machine (Record Review)

May 3, 2019



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle