Rocking and reeling
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In the 21st century, rock critics and the music press have been challenged by the development of the Internet and the subsequent financial crises in the publishing and music industries. However, while scholars lament the “death of the rock critic,” a tremendous body of citizen criticism has flourished online. This study situates rock criticism within the broader history of modern criticism to examine how it is being remade in the digital age. The concept of an ideal public sphere emerged in the Enlightenment Era, where critics moderated discourse on the arts. However, due to the mass production of culture, this form of discursive criticism was never fully realized. This study posits that while the rock critic may be a dying occupation, in the digital age, rock criticism is being revitalized as a discursive practice among critics, artists, fans and citizen critics that may be more reflective of an Enlightenment model.