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March 18, 2009

Likes pods leaving their mother ships...

Everyone's asking what will happen to coverage of the arts when the newspapers go away. My guess is that there will be a huge flowering of new projects trying in one way or another to fill the void. A day doesn't go by now when I don't hear of new projects launching. Most of them are by dislodged journalists trying to invent another way.

On larger scale there are projects like the one the 30 or so journalists of the late Rocky Mountain News are attempting with the idea of selling subscriptions to a new online publication InDenver Times . A look through the list shows a couple of arts staffers included.

In Seattle, where I live, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer quit publication this week (after 143 years) and went online-only, firing most of its 170+ staffers and retaining a skeletal staff of 20. That is, some of the paper went online. No arts staff was included in the new online venture.

On a brighter front, former Miami Herald classical music critic Lawrence Johnson writes today that his one-year-old South Florida Classical Review has been so successful, he's launching a second site in Chicago this spring. And a series of other sites are to follow.

Arts organizations are worried about the disappearance of cultural coverage. And it's possible they're looking for new places to advertise, both to get the word out about their work. And to support arts journalism that has been important to them. Johnson:

Advertising from local organizations, while slow to get underway, has grown substantially, even in the worst climate for advertising revenue in decades. Virtually every leading Miami music organization has participated, enabling this project to continue. I'm very optimistic that, with enough advance ad commitments for the 2009-2010 season, South Florida Classical Review will continue to thrive and bring detailed, comprehensive, and independent classical coverage to  audiences for a long time to come.
That's certainly been true at ArtsJournal, my day job. Advertising has never been better, and traffic through the site has been growing like a weed.
March 18, 2009 3:53 PM | | Comments (0)

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