I’m Todd L. Burns, and welcome to Music Journalism Insider, a newsletter about music journalism. I highlight some of the best stuff I hear, read, and watch every week; publish news about the industry; and interview writers, scholars, and editors about their work. My goal is to share knowledge, celebrate great work, and expand the idea of what music journalism is—and where it happens. Questions, comments, concerns? You can reach me anytime at email@example.com. And if you’re not already subscribed to the newsletter, you can do so at musicjournalisminsider.com.
Today in the newsletter: A new Notes On Process with Cat Zhang and a cause worth supporting.
The latest edition of Notes On Process is here! The idea of this column is simple: I invite a writer to a Google Doc where I’ve copy-pasted one of their pieces and added a bunch of footnotes with flattery, jokes, and questions. They reply to my queries, and then we provide you with a link to the doc where all of our marginalia is visible. The goal is to provide a window into the writing and editing process, so that folks can see how great writers think about their work.
Cat Zhang is Associate Editor at Pitchfork. She started out as an executive assistant a few years ago, and has quickly proven herself to be a gifted writer on the intersection of music and technology. (You may have seen her writing about TikTok or City Pop.) Her latest big feature is on Discord, which is the one that we chose to use as a jumping off point to talk about how she approaches her work. It’s a great insight into the longform writing process. Check out the Google Doc here.
If you’ve missed out on previous editions of Notes On Process, they’re all right here.
Jessica Hopper pointed me this past week to a fundraiser she’s organizing with Joan LeMay, in support of Charles Aaron, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in June and has experienced numerous complications since then.
From the GoFundMe: “If you were ever a fan of SPIN Magazine, you are a fan of Charles Aaron. From 1991 to 2011, his incisive wit, editorial vision, and acrobatic, lyrical voice made the magazine what it was – all while he inspired countless others to dance about architecture in a better, brighter, deeper way. A man of impeccable taste, a passionate advocate for great art in all its forms, a devoted father, and an important, vital person in the lives of countless people, Charles has always given freely of his heart, time, and talents. We now have the opportunity to give freely to him in his time of need.”
Click here for the Charles Aaron cancer treatment fund.
Check out all of the causes highlighted by folks I’ve interviewed in the newsletter.
Thanks for reading! In case you’ve missed them, I’ve published a number of special features in the newsletter, including articles about music journalism history, what music journalism will be like in 2221, and much more. You can check out all of that here.
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Thanks for reading! I also make playlists from time to time. You can check them out here if you’re interested. And, full disclosure, my day job is at uDiscover Music, a branded content online magazine owned by Universal Music. This newsletter is not affiliated or sponsored in any way by Universal, and any links that relate to the work of my department will be clearly marked.
Feel free to reach out to me via email at email@example.com. On Twitter, it’s @JournalismMusic. Until next time…