// AP: FEATURES - Web Cover Story: Exclusive! In online music reporting, is it better to be first or factual?

Monday, February 22, 2010

// AP: FEATURES - Web Cover Story: Exclusive! In online music reporting, is it better to be first or factual?

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When it comes to availing ourselves of the perverse pleasures of breaking the bad news, sometimes it doesn't even matter if the story turns out to be true or not. Considering a news story that we as music fans probably deem important--the rumored breakup of a favorite band--provides an example. Last week, music blog SupJustin.com posted news that Brand New are going on hiatus. It's not exactly national-security-level news, but disturbing nonetheless to thousands of their fans. AP promptly called a representative for the band to confirm the rumor. Turns out that's just what it was--a rumor.

It's a practice that's become increasingly common with the proliferation of music blogs, each one striving to make themselves noticed in a crowded marketplace; splash the page with an eyeball-grabbing headline, then report the story backward from there. In recent months, more than a few bands have found themselves in similar situations. At any given time Fall Out Boy, the Academy Is..., the Killers or Straylight Run have all been shuffled through the rumor mill in various states of dissolution, their membership status in a sort of limbo that extends from proposed hiatus to a minor break to official breakup to none of the above. It's become difficult to even tell which of the bands we follow are together even more.

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