The Los Angeles Times published a series of rather surprising articles about corruption in the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS)- the organization responsible for the Grammy Awards.
Already in 1998 the LA Times described several manipulations in NARAS- in particular, some serious over-funding of the charity work of the organization. The articles received the Pulitzer prize- the most prestigious in journalism. And now the LA Times continues to familiarize readers with the details of the way that the NARAS functions. It wasn't so long ago that they published an article about how the Time Warner Music Group wheedled recordings from artists in order to publish them on an anthology CD for a popular cause.
Michael Green, director of NARAS, refused to comment on these articles, but NARAS did begin some inner investigations into the matter, trying to determine who within the Academy could have become the source of this information leakage (this was reported by the LA Times several days ago). It should be noted that who is chosen and who is awarded the Grammy prize depends precisely on Green: he is the one who determines who will perform during the ceremonies, and most importantly, he is the one that selects the judges that chose the candidates.
What took place after the publications of these articles, many publishers chose to label revenge. During the recent awards ceremonies, representatives of the LA Times were seated in places where it was impossible to take any photographs.
The staff of NARAS asserted that the journalists from the LA Times just didn't chose to take any pictures. Journalists of other publications, however, say that this is a warning to anyone who pokes around in NARAS' affairs.
There was another case where NARAS permitted itself a sufficient lack of courtesy, or even a serious error, in relation to Internet publications. On-line journalists were simply not invited to the Grammy Awards ceremony, even those belonging to such serious publications as SonicNet, Music News, Wall of Sound or Allstar. All the information over the web was offered only through the official site- www.grammy.com. Carry Borzilio, chief editor of Allstar, said, "Depriving online publications of access to this information, NARAS just proves that no one in the Academy understands the perspectives of the development of mass media." Representatives of Wall of Sound consider that by trying create an information monopoly, NARAS is harming no one but itself.
The noise around allegations of corruption in the Grammy Awards isn't settling. A rather large number of artists are expressing a serious distrust of the procedure for choosing candidates, and the choosing of the winner. In particular, Barry White (who, by the way, won two awards at the last ceremony), is worried about the fact that the NARAS' relations with particular recording companies play such a large role in determining what candidates are chosen and who is given the award. Which means that the amount of money spent on banquets, parties and meetings with members of the Academy play a large role as well.
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