Results tagged “KERA” from ARTicles

In Dallas, KERA public media's nearly two-year-old Art&Seek initiative combines radio, television and online cultural coverage, much of it by former print journalists -- among them reporter/producer Jerome Weeks, a 1999-2000 NAJP fellow. Anne Bothwell, the director of Art&Seek, discussed the project in an e-mail interview.

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The team you lead at Art&Seek includes journalists who, like you, are former arts staffers from The Dallas Morning News, which drastically cut its newsroom -- and, consequently, its arts coverage -- in 2006. What did, or does, the absence of strong cultural coverage in the local daily paper mean for Dallas, a city of more than a million people? When Art&Seek was launched in 2008, was that an effort to fill the void?

Like so many other newspapers, the Morning News covered local arts as an almost exclusive franchise. But like so many other papers, the cutbacks in staff affected that franchise. Similar cutbacks at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram have led both papers to 'share' coverage, underscoring their dwindling, now-sometimes solitary voice in the community. As coverage waned, artists, presenting and performing organizations and other cultural institutions found it harder to get the word out about their work. Art&Seek was launched in part to fill that need.

Exposure to information about the arts makes it more likely you'll be inspired to pick up a paintbrush or join a dance class. And the theater, dance, music and visual arts we support as a community say a lot about who we are. At their best, cultural coverage and criticism provide a framework to reflect on and talk to each other about what this means. A city without robust cultural coverage is also full of folks missing many opportunities to engage with the arts -- and with each other.

March 24, 2010 12:00 AM |
"Faced with a choice between two evils, it's usually best to pick the one with a reliable paycheck," Scott McLemee writes today in Inside Higher Ed, explaining why, in the early 1980s, Jerome Weeks gravitated away from academia and into journalism -- a field that, of course, has turned out not to be so solid after all.

Jerome, a former NAJP fellow ('99-'00), spent most of the first act of his career at The Dallas Morning News, logging one decade as the paper's theater critic, another as its book critic. Then, with a buyout a few years ago, came an intermission. Now his second act is well under way, and by McLemee's accounting, it's a success. It's also in arts journalism, which these days is an achievement in itself.

McLemee, a fan in his youth of Dallas public broadcaster KERA, wrote last week of the education the station gave him then, how it subsequently seemed to have lost its way, and how, lately, it's returned to "old-school cultural earnestness" -- a characterization he intends as a compliment. One reason for KERA's revival appears to be the presence of Jerome, a producer and arts reporter at the PBS and NPR affiliate, where he works in radio, online and on TV as well. (Unlike many print journalists, he happens to look like an anchorman, which helps.)

"It sometimes seems I'm dispensing culture chat with an eyedropper," he tells McLemee. "But seriously, how many people can you name who regularly interview authors and artists and review their work -- on television, on radio and online?"
July 29, 2009 10:15 AM |


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