In the August issue of The Source, Rob â€œBikoâ€ Barker throws darts at hip-hop news websites in general, and HiphopDX in particular for doing a â€œpoor jobâ€ of covering hip-hop. Could this be revenge for the battering The Source has taken online recently, and the dirty laundry airing that HiphopDX did with a 3 part interview with former Source editor Reginald Dennis?
Nah, The Source isnâ€™t that vindictive.
Biko's article isn't available online, but peep this quote:
â€œIn this cutthroat industry, many online publishersâ€™ keep their eyes on the prize: rushing to be the first to post a breaking news story. During this press to publish process, fact checking, analysis and follow-up interviews become a secondary part of the journalistic process. This situation also contributes to an exaggerated assessment of these sites impact.â€
I guess in his own rush to print, Biko forgot to make the word â€œsitesâ€ possessive. Yet, he did make â€œpublishersâ€ possessive, even though it shouldnâ€™t be. Tsk, tsk.
(I won't mention his unnecessary use of a colon. That would be nitpicking.)
Biko claims a little later in his article, â€œNone of these cyberzines can prove their user trafficâ€¦â€ Who told Biko that lie? Any website running professional banner ads can chart their traffic down to the regions where their readers live, including what they read and how long. In another twist of irony, it is actually The Source who canâ€™t prove their readership numbers!
In a letter to advertisers in April, The Source founder Dave Mays states:
"The bottom line is that we will be unable to provide an audited statement of our paid circulation for the last 6 months of 2004."
Mays explains that 80,000 paid subscriptions were somehow lost during a move. Yes, along with the magazine's credibility.