Resident Advisor are running a “journalism workshop” next week – so will avoiding difficult subjects and pinching stories be included in the course?

Now, this blog has been accused in the past of having some kind of personal vendetta against RA editor-in-chief Whitney Wei. Not guilty. Resident Advisor is a stale, boring brand which needs new blood – which is why I welcomed her appointment back in July. The whingers seem to conveniently forget this bit.

But I’ve been sorely disappointed by how poor and lacking in any sense of tenacity or personality Resident Advisor still is. The dance music world needs a press which isn’t afraid to ask questions, and Resident Advisor continue to duck this challenge under their new editor. And clangers like this leave me wondering what the hell the editors do all day.

So news that Resident Advisor’s editor-in-chief and managing editor are running a “journalism workshop”, as they’re calling it, highly amuses me. And that blurb is unlikely to win them any fans. For example, it says “the skills [of journalism] can be self-taught”. In a scene which has an awful lot of journalists who’ve had an awful lot of training but still aren’t very good at their job, that isn’t going to go down well.

So what will they talk about on their course? Perhaps they’ll talk about how their article on Scotland apparently reopening after 2 years is a model of brilliant journalistic practice? Maybe they’ll cite the time their writer Katie Thomas seemingly lifted several stories from Chicago’s 5 Magazine and copied them almost ad verbatim as an example of being “patient and tenacious”?

Or alternatively, how about explaining that good journalism appears to involve refusing to cover difficult subjects? Such as the controversy surrounding Dominick Fernow which emerged shortly after Wei was appointed to the Resident Advisor role. Her old employers dropped her right in the soup by making clear they wanted nothing more to do with him. Or the subject of plague raves – which forced Resident Advisor to admit they’d been making money out of them for months.

I’m seriously thinking about signing up just to see how on earth they’re going to fill two whole hours on this subject. Let’s not forget that Whitney Wei has publicly vowed to “raise the calibre of music journalism” – something that I would dearly love to see. And as editor-in-chief of Resident Advisor, she’s in a position to make it happen. What are you waiting for, Whitney?

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