Fool About My Money - A cultural history of Rip It Up magazine 1977 - 2010
Rip It Up, New Zealand’s longest-surviving music magazine, was founded by Murray Cammick in 1977. During its history Rip It Up has faced numerous musical and cultural trends that have affected music journalism in many ways. Since 1977 new ideas, styles and genres of music have spread through the global popular music industry and have affected New Zealand’s music culture. From early punk rock to post-millenial dubstep, Rip It Up has been a significant part of these musical trends. The magazine has been a major force in New Zealand’s music scene for more than 30 years, and many of its writers have made successful careers built on their time as a “rock scribe” for Rip It Up. This thesis analyses the history of Rip It Up magazine from 1977 until 2010. It follows the magazine’s development from a free newsprint fanzine-style paper to a glossy commercial entity owned by a corporate media conglomerate. It discusses the magazine’s history in terms of cultural trends as well as global issues that face music journalism such as gender representation, political economy and credibility. Over the period examined by this thesis, journalism has changed radically in how it is made and consumed from ink splashed newsprint to the soft glow of a tablet computer screen. The history of Rip It Up is a microcosm of the history of New Zealand’s popular culture over these three decades, and offers insights into how journalism and music have changed as new economic, social and cultural forces have affected the production and consumption of global popular culture. Rip It Up links the past with the present and points to an uncertain future as print media becomes increasingly weightless, massless and instantly everywhere in the age of digital publication. The music is by no means over yet.