Penises, Butts, and Gossip: Why Modern Journalism Sucks

Greetings, everyone! It gives us quite a thrill to learn that you were able to find time amidst your hectic schedule to spend a few minutes with us talking about the state of music journalism. The post you are about to enjoy was created by our longtime contributor Lueda Alia, a brilliant young woman with years of experience in digital media under her belt. She’s written here before, and I can promise you right now she will delivered additional content in the future.

This site exists to promote the future of the entertainment industry, and to do that we need input from people like you and your entertainment-loving friends. If you have any questions about the content in this article, or if you have an artist you would like to see featured on this blog, please contact james@haulix.com. We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

My social media feeds are full of rants (and often snarky comments) from frustrated people in the entertainment industry. What worked so well for many years suddenly doesn’t seem to work anymore. Distribution of music has never been easier (Soundcloud, BandCamp, Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, etc.) and there are more publications, magazines, and blogs than ever before. Why, then, is it so difficult to secure artists and brands the exposure they deserve?

Well. The past two weeks, publications have been busy publishing articles on Kim Kardashian’s butt and Lorde’s “feud” with Diplo regarding his “tiny penis”:

The Guardian
Taylor swift ‘booty’ diss by Diplo inspires Lorde’s wrath

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Spin
Diplo Disses Taylor Swift’s Butt, Lorde Follows Up With the Perfect Comeback

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The Huffington Post Entertainment
Lorde Totally Owns Diplo After He Disses Taylor Swift on Twitter

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Rolling Stone
The Everything Index: Kim Kardashian’s Pavlovian Posterior Experiment

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Fact Magazine
Diplo Prompts Gross Taylor Swift Kickstarter; Gets Shamed By Lorde For His ‘Tiny Penis’

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CNN Entertainment
Make fun of Taylor Swift? Not on Lorde’s watch

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Billboard 
Lorde Perfectly Disses Diplo After He Insults Taylor Swift

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NME
Lord explains her Diplo ‘tiny penis’ comment

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NY Daily News
Lorde defends Taylor Swift, disses Diplo’s “tiny penis” on Twitter

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Fox News Entertainment
Katy Perry’s boyfriend Diplo disses Taylor Swift’s butt; Lorde disses Diplo’s manhood

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Grantland
Asses of Fire: Why Kim Kardashian’s Magazine Shoot Failed to ‘Break the Internet’

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Stereogum
Lorde Clarifies Comment About Kim Kardashian’s Butt

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NME
Lorde says Kim Kardashian cover of Paper magazine is ‘pure heaven’

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VICE
Getting to the Bottom of Kim Kardashian’s Alien Appeal

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Time Magazine
Kim Kardashian’s Butt Is an Empty Promise

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I could go on for hours with similar examples, but you get the point. Instead of using these platforms, which reach millions of people, to promote and reward deserving individuals for their skills and talents, the relentless pursuit of advertising revenue has pushed us to cover gossip about butts and penises.

We get it. Kim Kardashian has a huge ass, and Lorde made fun of Diplo in a hilarious way! And that’s a great way to get people to click on your website! Great, now writers and journalists are using wasting their skills writing about ludicrous and irrelevant stories, and all is well!

It’s easy to poke fun at these publications for struggling to adapt to technology and the internet. In order to remain relevant and make money, they have opted to become TMZ-esque because it’s easy and it works. But I can’t see this being a long-term solution, because all of these publications are becoming mirror images of each other and nothing more.

One of these days, we will start to care about journalistic integrity once more. We will begin to write stories that deserve to be shared with the rest of the world, and we’ll reward people who have earned the exposure through hard work and creativity and not through their fame. But that day is not today. And thus, everyone (artists and publicists included) needs to adapt the way they work in order to succeed. Stay tuned for my next article, which offers suggestions and advice for navigating the current landscape.

Lueda Alia is a music industry professional and freelance entertainment writer with years of experience working directly with artists on the rise. She maintains a great personal blog, as well as Made Of Chalk (which we featured on this blog earlier this year).

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.