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July 20, 2005

Daniels All Around?

I agree, Allan about Daniel. And there are some excellent arts reporters out there. But how long did it take even for the Times to get a Daniel? Before him, things were not always at such a high level - and not because there weren't good reporters on the music beat, but because they didn't know the culture of the artform well enough. And how many papers have the ability to hire a reporter dedicated to music anyway? I'm sorry, but there are way too many silly stories written about the arts by people who don't know enough, even to report in a useful way. Aesthetic judgment is often a significant part of the reporting job (being able to sort out what's important and what isn't) and it takes a critic for that. Whether or not a critic wants to take on the reporting role or not is another question, but it seems to me that reviews are often helped by the context a critic can bring from also being a reporter.

But on to your other point: Do you really think the Baltimore Symphony plotted the coverage this week so they'd get more attention? Yes, one might make the point that Marin Alsop would have a tougher time because of these stories, but isn't it really the Orchestra itself that comes off the worse?

From the outside the orchestra looks inept at best, and calculating and disrespectful to its musicians at worst. Surely the orchestra has damaged its position with its musicians in the process, and with its dirty laundry on display for all, it can't be the kind of positive image the orchestra wants to portray in the community. If it was orchestrated (no pun intended) it was a pretty bush-league strategy and surely not worth it for the minor media pop.

Posted by mclennan at July 20, 2005 09:40 PM


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