by Hannah Galvin
With supporting evidence from previous posts found on Distant and Vague, it is clear that Sydney’s live music scene has undergone some problems during the course of its life. With venues such as the Hopetoun Hotel closing its doors indefinitely and the Gaelic giving up on keeping its music alive, the value of the live music scene is diminishing.
The media has reported on these venues in a way that comes across as negative to its audience. This is due to the fact that the media is indicating that the closure of these once cherished venues is an issue that has arisen in Sydney’s art culture. The language the media uses creates these implications. Depending on what media form it is, it generally aims to sustain an objective and unbiased nature as much as possible. An example of this is in the Drum Media street magazine. The article, ‘The Gaelic To Can Live Music’ reads, ‘The decision comes amid a “tough” climate for music venues in Sydney’ and ‘A statement from the venue read, “The decision was a difficult one, made after a number of years with a tough climate for live music in Sydney venues”’. It is through the use of quoting other sources and binding information together that allows the audience to understand the nature of the article. Once understood, they are enabled to inherit the fact that the media is enforcing a problem onto them. With quotes such as the ones used in this article in Drum Media, it is clear that the media is alerting its audience of an issue as that is its role in the coverage of the topic. This is all a part of the production and interpretation of the media as it constructs a version of ‘reality’. Using such quotes and metalanguage thickens the significance of what the media is aiming to deliver to its audience.
The media also allows its respondents to give their own view on the matter. Citizen journalism is something that has become a common, productive response to media issues, particularly in the issue of Sydney’s dying live music scene. As viewed on this blog earlier under the post, “R.I.P”, a photograph of the note left on the door of the venue was found of the website, Polaroids of Androids. Citizen journalism strengthens the importance of the issue and adds prosperity to the awareness of the issue.
The media responded positively to the Annandale Hotel’s ‘Buy A Brick’ campaign. Again, without being biased, the media raised awareness to yet another venue that was/is on the verge of abolishment. The issue has been raised by the venue itself claiming that the council was on its back regarding noise complaints and expenses. With the media involved, it was able to validate to its audience and punters of the venue just how much trouble the hotel was in. The two worked hand in hand; the venue’s problems were exploited to the public via articles such as the one in FasterLouder, whilst the tabloids themselves gained evidence by investigating and speaking to Matthew and Daniel Rule-the owners of the Annandale Hotel.
Due to this, the lights of the public sphere switched on. Social media sites and public forums were created in hope that the Annandale Hotel would stay alive to continue hosting local live music in Sydney’s Inner-West. The only possibility of recognition in this case was if the media had acted appropriately. It obviously did as the recipients of the information took action through this way.
Due to the hysteria of the possible lack of future for the venue, the campaign was established. As the media had already presented the problem that added to the issue of Sydney’s dying live music scene, it was in the right position to sustain such acknowledgement. The public sphere became more vocal on the issue which created more forms of media to raise awareness. As some of these forms of media included popular social networking sites and forums, the information was feeding a decent amount of people. Again, the new respondents released their views on the matter, therefore this selection of people made the issue easier to deal with. This is what the public sphere was made up of. If it wasn’t due to the media acknowledging the fact that the campaign was a response to a problem, it would not have received such a huge response. The two following videos are made up of respondents to the issue of the Annandale’s closure. They include response on the ‘Buy A Brick’ campaign.
The Save Live Australian Music (SLAM) campaign was a little bit different in comparison to the other two situations noted on this blog. SLAM was something that raised awareness in terms of responding to the issue of Sydney’s dying live music scene. It is clear that the media has pushed its limits on the issue, possibly even creating moral panic. This is due to the fact that the live music scene is valued highly in regards to Sydney’s art culture. Therefore, for the scene to diminish would be terrifying to its punters, hence why the SLAM campaign was established.
Essentially aiming to save live music, the campaign emerged through the use of broadcast, online and print media. It is due to the media that SLAM was a success due to the spotlight it held in specific media that were relevant to its goal.
Studying the BCM110 has allowed me to investigate the issue of Sydney’s live music scene independently as I have enabled myself to explore a range of different media types. Acquiring a stronger sense of awareness to the role of the media and understanding different media concepts and theories (such as media reality, citizen journalism, public sphere and moral panic acknowledged in this blog) has allowed me to become more investigative independently.