Anthems of the J-school

It proved difficult to find a connecting theme for the list, since journalism is such a broad subject. So I chose a bunch of songs that address certain topics in journalism.

(Photo: Nadine Heidrich via Flickr Creative Commons)

[box type=”info”] Ed. note: Be advised that many of these songs contain profanity. And please, please wear headphones in the library. [/box]
Lists are great. In these academically taxing times, a quick, easy-to-read list is the perfect distraction for five minutes. It’s the perfect medium for our entertainment-saturated age. After my CSP song list, I decided to do another one for journalism. But it proved difficult to find a connecting theme for the list, since journalism is such a broad subject. So I chose a bunch of songs that address certain topics in journalism. You might find this list to be more eclectic than the last, so feel free to add to it. Enjoy. Hopefully. I’m not a perfect DJ, really. Maybe try Songza. They’ve got some good stuff. What were we talking about?
1 Train – A$AP Rocky
Is this song deep? Not particularly. You don’t go to A$AP Rocky for lyrical depth. But he generously compensates for this weakness by stuffing this track with every rapper from Kendrick Lamar to Action Bronson to Danny Brown. A swirling miasma of differing voices and opinions. Just like doing streeters, am I right?

Press Corps – Japandroids
“Press corps, give us something to live for.” That is literally the only lyric in this entire song. It just gets repeated, over and over, like a deranged mantra. It’s superb. The whole ethos of journalism summed up in eight words. I want it framed as a banner in the J-School. Not much else to say here except that Japandroids are quite excellent live.

Do I Wanna Know? – Arctic Monkeys
When you’re plunging into the depths of a story, do you want to know all the facts? Can you handle the facts? Can you handle the truth? Probably, yeah. But for the times you need moral support, Arctic Monkeys are always a good choice.

A Day in the Life – The Beatles
The Beatles classic about an ordinary life that seemingly implodes into a psychedelic fever dream. With orchestral backing! The main character would make a hell of a feature story subject. If, you know, he were real. Which he isn’t. He’s a fictional character. And they’re very hard to interview. Trust me.

Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Journalism can take you to a lot of weird places. Not so much in university. Mostly you just bop around Halifax, scour the Internet, and, if you’re really adventurous, maybe visit Dartmouth. But I’ve been told that real journalism is quite the trip. And this is a great travel song.

Mandela – CyHi the Prince
An excellent portrait of revolution driven by a pounding, relentless beat. Furthermore, CyHi’s “Black Hystori Project” is a musically ambitious piece of art infused with journalism that you should totally check out.

Radio America – The Libertines
A relaxed contemplation about leaving home for the promised land of American prosperity. Really good song that relates to journalism…somehow. Oh, I know, it’s about radios, which are used by journalists. And a lot of reporters leave Canada to work in the States. So this song is a commentary about the dearth of Canadian radio journalists. Clearly.

We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel
A laundry of historical events. A great recap for extraterrestrial visitors who need a crash course in Western 20th century history. And an example of the journalistic idea-gathering method (ALL THE IDEAS AT ONCE.) Pretty catchy track, too.

Flashbulb Eyes – Arcade Fire
As I said last time, it’s King’s. Arcade Fire is a requirement. Seriously, I think it’s in our constitution.

Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels
I just think this song’s awesome. That’s all.


By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

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