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 Rob Tannenbaum.
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.
Rob Tannenbaum is a great freelance writer and editor, with recent bylines in GQ, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. He’s perhaps best known, however, as the co-author of the extraordinary oral history I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. The book contains some of the most off-the-wall quotes from some of the biggest names you’ll ever encounter.
When I approached Rob about doing an edition of the Notes On Process column for the newsletter, it made perfect sense to focus on oral history. We decided on his GQ article “An Oral History of ‘We Built This City,’ the Worst Song of All Time.” For anyone looking to do an oral history, or who wants to hear some hilarious stories about putting together articles like this, you’ll enjoy it! Check out the Google Doc here.
If you’ve missed out on previous editions of Notes On Process, they’re all right here.
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…