Research Output
Cultural intermediaries in the contemporary British music press.
  Forde (2001) argues that the “polyglottic identity” and “discursive autonomy” of the music press in the 1970s was replaced in the 1990s by a “monoglottic branded identity, direction and aesthetic” across the majority of music journalism titles. This thesis aims to build upon Forde‟s work, exploring whether the cultural intermediary role in music journalism has experienced similar erosion to that of the “personality writer” which Forde describes.
I argue that a demonstration of a reduced cultural intermediary role in the music press may suggest that readers of the music press now operate as their own cultural intermediaries, with the music press instead operating as a gatekeeper of music cultural products without the aim of explicit influence over reader taste or in the legitimisation of cultural products. Additionally, any demonstrated reduction of the music press‟ cultural intermediary role may build upon Forde‟s suggestion of “the rise of a new cultural dynamic where individuals are now less interested in both music and in reading about music”.
An identical and continuous three-month span of NME and MOJO was analysed through a combination of quantitative content analysis and qualitative thematic analysis. Data recorded in the primary research included any demonstration of the cultural intermediary role in use (recorded on an ordinal scale) and the main themes of every article, to determine the importance of non-music topics within each publication. The research found a noteworthy level of content in NME and MOJO as neutral in language and tone, with the majority of articles being instead factually driven and the cultural intermediary role appearing to be not demonstrated consistently. When the cultural intermediary role is present, it is often through a third person, such as an interviewee, rather than in-house writers. Between 24 per cent and 55 per cent of every analysed issue of NME was found to be focused on non-music topics whilst 100 per cent of every analysed issue of MOJO had a complete focus on music. Consequently, I argue that the findings in this study demonstrate a shift in the role and content of the music press, which verifies claims that the role of the music press as cultural intermediary has reduced.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 October 2017

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    M1 Music

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    780 Music

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Langlands, L. C. Cultural intermediaries in the contemporary British music press. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



Music Press, British, Contemporary, Music Journalism,

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