The world of music journalism was shaken recently by the news that the New Musical Express was transforming in a free magazine. The online version, NME.com, will remain but the weekly magazine will no longer be found on the shelves of newsagents and supermarkets. Editor Mike Williams insists that the move is a natural evolution for the publication and the NME will only get ‘bigger and better’. Subscriptions are still available, which will allow subscribers to receive weekly issues by paying for postage and packaging. NME say readers will be able to pick up free copies from universities and select train stations. As an avid reader of the NME, the magazine which made me want to be a music journalist, I’m worried about how I’m going to get hold of it. I may have to pay the postage and packaging costs for a subscription as I don’t go to university and I don’t live near any big train stations. I also feel sad for readers who have been buying NME every week from their local newsagent for the last 30, 40, 50 years. The NME as we know it ended last week with a special edition looking back on covers and stories from the archives. The new free publication launches in September.
One of the weekly features in the NME which helped make it the UK’s favourite music magazine was ‘NME Radar’. A segment which looked at the best new bands, artists and music from not just the UK but around the world. This passion for new music was something that made NME stand out from the crowd. All the focus on NME at the moment has made me think about what made it so popular and I liked about it. And it inspired me to start a Radar-style section on my blog. And so the Trackdose Scout page was born. On the Scout page I will write about new bands and artists that I like and I want to share with readers. I realise I don’t quite have NME readership numbers but if I can help just a handful people find new music that they love then that’s fine.