10th December 2015

NME’s court case

NME goes under trial for crimes against profanity

The accused: NME

The accusation: Swapping integrity for $$$, artistic bankruptcy, and a total abandonment of prior virtues.

The crimes: Turning from just music to accommodate film and style, choosing gossip over news, trying far too hard, and marketing Justin Bieber as “actually kinda cool.”

The case: NME has destroyed the soul of what it once was. In its new rebranding as a free magazine, it has lost any edge that it might have once had. Its initial problem is moving away from music and broadening to film, style and general entertainment. In a delirious turn, two out of the last five issues have had a feature on an actor—most recently specialising on “Daniel Radcliffe’s wanking routine.” On top of the music section, each issue now has a dedicated film, TV and fashion section, too, turning into a genre-destroying crowd-pleasing shitheap. When it does actually cover music news, it’s more a range of intra-personal gossip, such as Adele’s stage fright; Tyler, The Creator being a playable character in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater; and Chris Moyles being hit with a pint glass at a gig. Any artistic licence this magazine used to have seems to have disappeared.

By changing to a free magazine and online site, there seems to be a shift in their target audience and marketing strategy. A general push towards the free material makes one question the morals behind the change. Now an expansive view into general entertainment with less controversial writing, no profanity and less “news”, the editors may have been forced to change tact. If it is a free issue, the funding must surely be coming primarily from advertisement, in print and online. It is often that advertisers won’t want their products to be associated with swearing or controversial views, and so this limits the artistic direction of the writers. Overall, the magazine has become another tame entertainment gossip column for the masses to read, without challenging any ideals or morals. It’s another slave to a higher purpose—money.

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