What kind of impact does music have in our world?
I think it's the greatest source of joy and comfort of all art forms. And done right, it can foster understanding of and openness to other ways of being like nothing else can.
What can we do to ensure that artists' voices are heard?
Coming from a journalism perspective, it's crucial to remember that artists don't owe anyone - fans, press - anything at all. That kind of expectation can dilute an artist's voice, as can an unwillingness to approach their work on its own terms. Too often, music criticism seeks to legitimize artists - especially the stranger ones - rather than taking their work for what it is, and going from there. In an age where we have direct access to artists' voices, it's also important to recognize when a publicly made statement warrants wider reporting, and what should be allowed to speak for itself without dilution or headline sensationalism - particularly when those statements touch on personal issues like race, gender, and abuse.
By Laura Snapes, distributed under a Creative Commons CC-BY license.
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