The-Value-Of-Jazz

The Value Of Jazz: Jazz In The Media

30 Mar 2008

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It would appear that despite the growth of interest in jazz as evidenced by increases in festival and club audiences, the music is still treated as inferior to classical music in the press and on air.

Previews and reviews of jazz in the press and on radio and television are strongly London-centric.  In the newspapers, only large festivals or major tours that commence outside the capital draw the attention of London-based critics.  Otherwise, reference to non-London events is basically confined to previews within the listings sections.  In broadcasting, BBC Radio 3 and BBC 4 television will occasionally record a regional music event (e.g. Brecon Jazz festival 2007), but otherwise large scale outside broadcast facilities are only used outside London for major rock & pop events, such as Glastonbury.

The media as a whole lacks consistency over genre definitions such as ‘new music’, ‘world music’ and even ‘pop’, which can have a negative effect on the visibility of jazz in the media, especially given its few sites of regular coverage outside of Radio 2, Radio 3 and The Guardian and The Finanacial Times newspapers.  This report found a distinct editorail tendancy to mprioritise what is perceived as novekty music.  If something is presented to journaloists as jazz + another genre or culture it is fa more likel to preview or review it in the general arts pages.  As a result, publication may cover an event promoted by a jazz-based organisation under a non-jazz  heading, especially ‘world’ music.