The silencing power of Google

In this day and age where you know someone can Google your name and quite easily come up with any piece of dirt on you that’s ‘out there’, it seems people are becoming more and more reluctant to say anything which they feel could scupper them with their current boss or in a future job interview.

I was given a task this week which eventually resulted in me trying to investigate any rivalry between the radio station XFM and the more recently launched station NME. And getting quotes from anyone at either station about said rivalry was near impossible.

This was particularly surprising at NME, where they are seemingly winning the credibility battle as London’s new, alternative music station. And it’s not like I was trying to tap into some dark secret. Just this week a big-name DJ from XFM, Jon Hillcock, did his first morning show at NME. NME are poaching some of XFM’s most successful DJ’s all over the place.

Anyway, so after promising the people I was interviewing at both NME and XFM that neither their names or any quotes would be published anywhere, but merely used in an assignment, I eventually got a little juice out of them.

This also now leads me to another topic; ethics in journalism. I’m sure I’ll be posting on this in the future. But this was the first time I had to decide whether or not to stick to my spoken word and not post what they said on my blog.

I’ve eventually come to the conclusion that I need to be able to sleep at night and I couldn’t live with myself knowing there was a possibility of one of those women’s bosses or future interviewers Googleing their names, coming across my blog and then them either losing their job or failing to get a job purely so I could write an article here about radio rivalry. Just as they’re well aware of the power of Google in the work environment, so am I.

And on a final note (excuse the pun), I haven’t really written much on my blog about music up until now but thought I’d take this opportunity to let you all in on a little tip off I had during the above investigation about who the next ‘big’ band are going to be…so, look out for Band of Skulls. They’re a band from Southampton who were tipped by NME as the next big thing. They’re currently doing a UK tour and they play “back to basics rock”.

I guess we’ll see in the coming months just how accurate this tip-off is. Maybe I’ll Google them from time to time to find out.

By Sophie Hudson

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