Payola reviews- no surprise

by Jason Gross

25 January 2007


A story like this usually raises eyebrows: Amplifier Magazine Allegedly Trades Reviews for Ad Buys.  But as you see in the readers’ responses, it’s old news by now and it doesn’t seem like people are surprised by this.  What that says is 1) it’s an old dirty secret and 2) the opinion of the media is so low that it doesn’t even get a shrug nowadays.  Which isn’t to say that the bad rap isn’t partially earned- this kind of graft happens a lot though it doesn’t get reported or found out as explicitly as this case- a few years ago, New York Rock publicly implemented a policy of pay-for-review and drew some heavy criticism for that too.  Mind you, in the case of NYR, they didn’t guarantee a GOOD review if you forked over cash.  Do we now need a payola (pay-for-review) law to cover music mags?  Granted, the mag market is in desperate shape but if pubs have to resort to this, can we or should we trust ‘em anymore?

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