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April 30, 2009

Where Arts Journalism Is Right Now

In The Art Newspaper, NAJP director emeritus Andras Szanto weighs in with an overview of where arts journalism is:

Arts journalism as we used to know it is sinking with the ship.

The forces undermining the news business are the same everywhere and have been extensively catalogued by now. Studies show, however, that arts journalism is not being singled out for inequitable rollbacks. The problem is that the cuts are deepening an already miserable shortage of resources, set against a cultural universe that continues to expand. We are past the tipping point: it has become acceptable to run a paper with just a skeletal culture staff. Specialised writers are giving way to generalists. Culture sections are being tossed overboard (standalone book review sections, in particular, are a dying breed). Article lengths and "news holes" (space for editorial content) are shrinking. All this has eviscerated newspapers' ability to deliver quality arts coverage, which, as a result, must migrate elsewhere. But where?
April 30, 2009 12:52 PM | | Comments (1)

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I saw this happen at the alt-weekly I worked for. Movie critics and food critics that have been with the paper for decades have been given the back seat to staff editorial--decent writers in their own respect, but definitely out of their league.

In a way it's good, because this usually means no one is being let go completely, but the quality has gone down. Difficult to stand by a paper when things are going so far south.

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