CHARLES THOMSON

 

Freelance Writer/Reporter

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About Charles...

JIVE

JIVE

In May 2009 Charles produced JIVE, a one-off publication intended as a cross-genre black music magazine for British audiences.

The idea was born in 2008 when, having written for US black music journal Wax Poetics, Charles noticed that the UK did not have a British equivalent and set about investigating how fairly, or unfairly, black artists were represented by the British music press.

After conducting a content analysis study on the front covers of four leading British music magazines over nine years, Charles found that black artists were far from proportionately represented. The most inclusive of the magazines featured one black artist on its cover for every 12 white artists. The least inclusive was a staggering 27 times less likely to feature a black artist on its cover than a white artist.

Armed with this evidence of prejudice in the British music press, Charles set about creating a prototype black music magazine, encompassing soul, blues, funk, jazz, R&B, rock&roll, world music and more.

JIVE featured interviews with calypso legend Eddy Grant and MOBO winner Sway DaSafo. The key feature, titled 'James Brown: The Lost Album', delved into the recording of James Brown's unreleased final album. The piece later won a prestigious Guardian Award.

The magazine was launched and distributed at the 'Hold the Press' exhibition in in Southend-On-Sea on Monday 11th May 2009. The magazine was well received by press, public and musicians alike.

View sample spreads from JIVE

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