Music Journalism A-Z – Tim Quirk

Tim Quirk

Tim Quirk spent more than 10 years as the singer and lyricist for the punk-pop band Too Much Joy, then politely eased his way into music journalism. He was a regular contributor to Raygun, The San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Sassy, and Teen. He was Director of Editorial for, an online music-service provider which became Rhapsody, and one half of an electro-pop outfit called Wonderlick.

Tim Quirk has been instrumental in analyzing and arguing against the current sampling clearance laws.  Quirk discovered that current copyright law encouraged artists to choose samples based on which can most easily be cleared and not on creative merit.

Tim Quirk has acquired the ideal job that blends technology, music journalism and programming direction.

Tim Quirk now works for Google as head of global content programming for Google Play. He and his team continue to write about music on the blog Magnifier.

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6 Replies to “Music Journalism A-Z – Tim Quirk”

  1. I really feel like I am getting a million dollar education from your blog. I am really at a crossroads because I have begun writing as an A&E (music) contributor for Yahoo! and I love the writing portion, but I have been a freelance publicist for some years as well. I currently attend Full Sail University (online) as a Music Business BS student (3rd year) and as my graduation looms before me in 2014, I need to make a hard decision. Should my Masters Program be New Media Journalism or Public Relations…God forbid I should be come a professional student and take them back to back!

    As a music journalist and teacher, could you tell me how you see the tie-in between the two niches in a career? I don’t want to wait until the last minute to make a decision but am at that nervous indecision point and I would love your opinion if/when you have a moment!



    1. Jerry,

      I am glad you feel that way 😉

      I trust my council will be insightful and accurate.

      Here are my thoughts about the value and applicability of a Masters Program choice.

      I think you should follow your instincts here. Which of the two programs do you feel best represents your core skills. Between New Media Journalism and Public Relatuons what feels the most natural to you. By this I mean which career option have you had the most success with to date. Do you have a strong reputation in PR. Which best represents your strengths and convictions new media journalism or pr. I think public relations is a very crowded field and its difficult to crate a brand and a name in pr. Unless I am mistaken I find that PR is very hard work with a “minimal” financial return. I could be wrong.

      When it comes to journalism, I think that is a more expansive career skill. Written communication benefits how we express and represent ourselves. I lean more towards new media journalism because WordPress blogging, being paid for content is more lucrative online today. I think you can create a more successful brand and identity with new media journalism. Have you spoken with people attending the new media journalism program to find out what they have accomplsihed with their degrees?

      That’s my thoughts Jerry I hope they are helpful and not too myopic.


      1. Hi Ed,

        Thank you for your thoughts and insight and no you did not come off as short-sighted in your response.

        Both the new media journalism and PR Masters programs are completely new offerings at Full Sail University. August of 2012 saw the launch of both programs. Our programs are accelerated so each Masters program is only 12 months in duration. Therefore, I will have an opportunity to network with one or two students with each program prior to making a final decision.

        I agree with you that PR is difficult and not the best paying field unless you get a director level position with an established company or firm. Somehow, as publicists we gain a lot of power based on our connections and if you have a solid niche it is possible to earn a living.

        On the other hand, journalists have quite a bit of power as well, I am finding that out in my short tenure as exec editor of a magazine. We as a magazine have begun leveraging that brand as a platform to offer PR services as well. In less than 30 days we have garnered several paying clients and 6 month contracts for our services.

        I believe new media journalism could be the door I need to open, to upgrade my skill set and bring added value to what the magazine has already accomplished.

        Thank you so much for the ‘conversation’ about my education choice…it helped me get off the fence so to speak. New Media Journalism it is…as that is truly the most natural feeling direction to me.

        Thank you for giving me so much to consider and sharing your opinion and insight…I appreciate you taking the time with me.



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