There has been quite a discussion in the C-U music scene lately about the lack of criticism or the lack of honest critiques of bands by the local media. Many say that publications like The Buzz or Smile Politely follow that one old saying when it comes to discussing bands: if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.
As a musician, and being one that really doesn’t take too much stock in what others say about the music I play (because I would rather have fun playing than take music too seriously), I understand this idea and have noticed it as well. I never see a bad article about a band that a journalist saw that they absolutely hated and then proceeded to write an article dedicated to that.
I would say that writing a smear piece about a band that you dislike takes it way too far. I would rather give constructive criticism to a band, like “You guys just need to keep practicing!”, or “Building that band experience makes a world of a difference!” Being positive is the kind and correct thing to do, but flatly being nice at the expense of your honesty is something that a journalist should never do, and the bands reading your fake kind words will not appreciate it either.