Long Faces and Major Challenges in Arts Journalism

by Suzanne Calvin

“Advertising Age” has estimated that one newspaper job in four has vanished in the past two decades but, for the arts, the loss of both journalists and genuine arts coverage (sorry, Britney doesn’t count) has been significantly more pronounced since 2005.  Veteran California-based journalist Tom Jacobs has a sweeping analysis of the present situation, including what performing arts organizations need to do to forge their own connections with die-hards, aficionados, browsers, the mildly curious, and the positively phobic within their communities.

Yet, the real question is, how do real people feel about the loss of arts criticism: Do you care? Has it had an impact on your ticket purchasing habits?  Are you more or less interested in the performing arts as easily accessed coverage has dwindled?  Do you enjoy “citizen reviews” of local performances or do you find them lacking?  What do you think of the new arts portals, a.k.a. KERA’s “Art and Seek” or WRR’s website, among them?  And when was the last time you saw a local television station devote more than twenty seconds of a primetime newscast to a performing arts story?

Where do you turn for artistic sustenance?  And why?

Just askin’.

Suzanne Calvin, Assoc. Dir. of Marketing, The Dallas Opera

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