This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things: An Open Letter to NPR Intern Emily White

From one young'n to another—you're making us look bad.

Dear Emily White,

A few days ago, you wrote a “musing” for NPR alleging that the proverbial “kids these days” will never pay for music. Your proof for this claim is that they “never owned any music to begin with.” You also write that in your 20 years, you've only ever bought 15 albums—this may be a sign that you shouldn't be writing about music, but let's continue.

Unsurprisingly, some people felt compelled to respond: industry insiders, music journalism vets, and even some of the artists you admit to siphoning music from. I'm writing this to you, not to beat a dead horse, not in an attempt to embarrass you, but because—well—we’re not so different, you and I. As a fellow young writer dead-set on playing a major role in shaping the future of the music industry, I think that we can do a lot better.

If you asked me point blank, I wouldn’t be able to tell you the last time I “bought” an album in the iTunes sense of the word. That being said, I also can’t remember the last time I downloaded something illegally. For the past two and a half years of working in and around the music industry, I’ve been incredibly lucky—many coveted releases have found their way into my inbox before most music libraries. I imagine you have similar access to an extensive catalog. This is an atypical privilege that your article seems to skirt. See, the important difference between you and I is that I write about why bands are good, and you write about how you steal from them.

Read the rest over at NOISEY