Our readers don't want French lit-shit

From: Tim Brooks Subject: Pretentiousness So Francis Harvey (Press
Gazette, 21 October) thinks we should have gone with the “pretentious
allusions to Proust” which NME deputy editor Alex Needham kicked out in
your feature on Press Cadets. Apparently we “don’t understand our
audience”.

I really, really thought journalists who thought this way had all retired when hot metal went out.

We
get to listen to our audience quite a lot. 50,000 of them visit our
website every day. 10,000 of them are trying to get into our Rock ‘n’
Roll Riot Tour in Leeds tonight as I write this. Thousands of them turn
up at our Club NME nights every week across the UK.

And the thing they tell us, Francis, is: “Oi! NME! Remember, we f***ing hate that fin-de-siecle French lit-shit.”

Hence the aversion to Proust.

(Though
Alex did helpfully explain for Pete fans last week – not all of whom
completed their literary education – that the Babyshambles song A
Rebours derives from the controversial 19th century novel by JK
Huysmans).

Gratuitous displays of ill-worn erudition are exactly the sort of exclusive frottage that alienate readers.

The
NME is not the London Review of Books. Thankfully, unlike Francis, most
of our peers seem to understand this: hence Conor McNicholas is the PPA
Editor of the Year, and shortlisted for the BSME’s Editors’ Editor of
the Year. (Don’t tell anyone, but he also has a degree in philosophy).

Gabba gabba hey – as Wittgenstein would say.

Tim Brooks Managing director, IPC ignite!

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