I just wrote a letter to the editor of the Malta Times, pillorying Fiona Galea Debono for some dodgy reporting. She wrote a profile of Maltese singer Ira Losco (she covers The Cure’s “Love Song” on her MySpace page), and introduced the subject of music piracy:
The DVD will be available from leading record stores and off her website… but, sadly, probably also from the marketplace at a fraction of the price.
Indeed, piracy is a scourge that even Ira has to contend with; it is destroying the industry and makes her blood boil.
Ira sells well and not enough fake CDs are printed to hurt her, so she need not devise a strategy to counteract piracy – in the same vein as international stars, who are basing their earnings on live performances. But it is still an irritating issue.
Do you get the feeling that Sony set up this interview, and told Ms. Debono (and/or Ms. Losco) to dedicate a few column inches to the piracy issue? Here’s my letter:
Ms. Debono’s profile of Ira Losco read like a thinly-veiled propaganda piece for the record industry. Despite music piracy not impacting Ms. Losco, Ms. Debono introduces the subject into her article and claims–without citing any evidence–that it’s “destroying the [music] industry”.
This simply isn’t true, and it’s lazy, shoddy journalism to claim otherwise. There are many reasons for the downturn of the music industry–declining radio listenership, free music via the web (YouTube and such), diverging audience tastes, the missed opportunity of legal file sharing, rising video game and DVD sales and so forth.
Besides, a recent independent study comissioned by Industry Canada indicated that file-sharing doesn’t put downward pressure on purchasing music. In fact, fans who download music tend to buy more.
According to Simon Wright, CEO of Virgin Entertainment Group in Rolling Stone magazine, “The record companies have created this situation themselves.”
Here’s a lesson for Ms. Debono: I’ve just built an argument based on considered supporting evidence. Perhaps she’ll try this approach the next time she wants to trot out hollow, deceptive claims
Every time a journalist (or a blogger or whoever) mindlessly parrots a corporate party line, it lessens the profession.