Time for Artist to Posse Up and Work Around the Corporate Media Dominance

Detroit: One of the more telling aspects that stood out during last week’s Allied Media Conference held in Detroit, is the importance of artists forming collectives as a way to deal with the increasing impenetrable walls preventing access to corporate media outlets. In a world where media consolidation is the order of the day and money and resources are ‘king’ many indy artists are finding that its there’s strength in unity.

It’s become clear as day that when engaging corporate media more often than not, it’s not about preserving, nurturing or appreciating the art. Instead it’s about them finding the most efficient way to make money by obtaining high ratings using a flawed system that seemingly rewards a bland dumb down product that appeals to the lowest common denominator. Hence there’s little or no room for musical expression that doesn’t immediately appeal to the lowest common denominator of a targeted audience.

Looming in the backdrop is the realization that the proverbial public media watering hole where everyone has equal access to engage the masses is a brought and paid for luxury…In short nothing gets on the air for free. Its big business from head to toe and artists have to find new and innovative ways to reach their communities and bring attention to their product.

One such group making headway is Local 782 and the Media Justice Project out of San Antonio, Texas. Group members George Garza and Deanne Cuellar talk about living in San Antonio which is headquarters to the worlds largest radio conglomerate Clear Channel. In spite of being so close to this media behemoth, very few of its stations play local groups. That in turn impacts other aspects including bookings for shows, placement in record stores and coverage by other media.

Local 782 was formed as a way to help bring attention to a collective body of musicians who had similar plight. Working with the MJP, they started putting out compilation albums, doing showcases together and holding meetings with local media outlets to see how to improve coverage for the acts under their umbrella.

They also talked about how unifying help bring shed the long shadow of neighboring Austin which is deemed the Live music capital of the world’. People would come to Austin and never give a second thought to San Antonio which is 40 minutes away and has its own thriving music scene which is finally starting to garner attention.


Malkia Cyrill of Center for Media Justice

Along the lines of dealing with corporate media we caught up with long time media justice activist Malkia Cyrill from the Center for Media Justice. She underscored what Deanna Cuellar and George Garza were saying about uniting and supporting one another. She spoke on how corporate media can in many ways it can be stifling. She also spoke about the importance  of artists bringing attention to social justice issues.


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5 comments on “Time for Artist to Posse Up and Work Around the Corporate Media Dominance

  1. I think corporate media is just a way for these people to have a feeling of unity through an “enemy”. The internet is right in front of your face and at your dispose.

    The real problem is “art” simply attracts really unreliable and uneducated people in addition to those that are trying to be “serious”,
    and the former has a tendency to set the tone of what happens more than the latter. The trick is to create your own filtering process, but if your “serious” you’re probably going to end up pretty much alone since most people are out to fuck around, party, get high and talk in circles and have no tangible goals…and ironically many of those artists are more popular than the “serious” ones, and it isn’t because of corporations…it’s because people simply like them.

    I really don’t believe there is anything more to it than that.

  2. “fuck around, party, get high and talk in circles and have no tangible goals” sounds like most hip hop heads I know…

  3. Pingback: Time for Artist to Posse Up and Work Around the Corporate Media Dominance (via Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner-(The Blog)) « Davey D’s Archived Essential Hip Hop Articles

  4. We spend all this time and money talking about these corporate monsters, and spend no time giving concrete solutions. Every year, all these conferences get together, people vying for talking positions and reactions from the crowd, we spend our money in these cities like Detroit, and at the end of the day, the corporate monster keeps rollin on, and indie artists etc. remain average. Why do I need to for a collective to deal with walls that are build to keep me out. More importantly, why would I want to be behind the wall. If these corporate monsters showed up, and cashed out everybody, and played everyone’s music on clear channel, everyone would be jumping for joy. With all the wonderful ways to DIY, it’s crazy and sad that we are still wasting time trying to assimilate.

    How about a collective to pool our own money, to build a website, put our own player on it, and promote our music. How about a collective to buy our own venue. How about a collective to end the b.s conferences that many of these folks are using grant money to go to when they could be feeding a family.

  5. @Yeah Right.. Obviously u didn’t watch the videos? All of what u said was advocated and offered as a solution.. The problem of corporate dominance was stated and the solution was offered eloquently by all three people.. Did you not see that or did you just respond? At no point did I hear anyone say assimilate.. did u? if so please point that out..

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