It’s not yesterday anymore.
New Feeling is a multi-stakeholder cooperative of Canadian music journalists and community members enthusiastically covering the sounds and stories of music across the country/occupied Indigenous lands that constitute Canada.
Collectively, we have several decades of experience writing about music and have watched as the places where we’ve built our careers as writers and editors slashed their budgets, cut their music sections, eliminated staff positions, closed regional offices, or shuttered altogether, leaving only a dormant URL behind. There are very few outlets in the country that cover the music that’s made here, and the ones that are left tend to write about the same pool of artists over and over. This disparity only further marginalizes artists along gendered, racial, and class lines. Meanwhile, high-level decision makers choose profitability, ad-revenues, and sponsored content over the opportunity to engage meaningfully with the country’s local music scenes. COVID-19 has only accelerated this process. It’s not a great time to be a music writer.
New Feeling aims to build/be a place where enthusiasm can thrive and more importantly, endure. Where emerging artists’ work can be thoughtfully engaged with, celebrated and critiqued. Where there’s a commitment to showcasing artists and the innovative music that is being created throughout this country. We want to offer a supportive platform where writers who feel this same sense of purpose can feel at home, learn from one another, and lift each other up.
We believe that we can achieve this through a cooperative model, emphasizing the solidarity that comes with collective ownership, democratic decision making, a horizontal structure that forces us to think about power and who has it, and a commitment to transparency. The future of music journalism in the country seems dismal and it doesn’t have to be. In order to challenge the dominant systems that not only threaten our critical voices and the artistic communities we work to support, we need to imagine that something new is possible.
Can’t learn the words if you don’t know the feeling / Can’t get the feeling if you don’t know the sound.
This is just the beginning– an introduction. In the coming weeks and months we’ll be working to develop this idea further. We’ve already solicited the help of our readership in the form of a detailed survey that we distributed via our Twitter and Instagram accounts at the end of June. As we progress we’ll share the results from that survey, which will also inform our values, the stories we tell, and how we tell them.
We have recently formed and met with our volunteer Steering Committee, a group made up of people from the communities we hope to serve, who are working to help us identify our goals, establish a mandate, and find funding opportunities.
Let’s build something new together.
September 17, 2020
[Update: You can now read the results of our Reader Survey here!]