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July 22, 2005

Finding a balance

So, maybe we're not so different, after all. Yes, London is an exception when it comes to coverage. The critics there face a distinct set of challenges. But, basically, we want the same things: to be able to write about the music we love with a free hand; to discuss matters we believe are significant to the art; to raise topics that boards and managements of certain institutions wish we wouldn't; to provoke, probe, nurture.

Where we do part is in approach, given the needs of our newspapers and our communities and our own personalities. This doesn't mean we're soft when tough issues crop up, performance-wise or otherwise, nor that we avoid going against the flow of public opinion. Wherever we live, we try to generate interest through lively writing and broad viewpoints. As Norman says, we need to think out of the box. How? By finding ways to make what we do utterly fascinating to the reader. If that sometimes means getting out of review mode to write a column or an interview or a feature or a news story, all the better. Unpredictability and the occasional touch of humor don't hurt. Whatever draws the reader in, without compromising the subject, is fair game.

What we all agree we must to do is fight for space, fight for presence, fight to continue raising our voices pro or con. The fact that the field is getting smaller makes us more crucial than ever. If we continue to do our homework and invest energy and passion in what we do, maybe we can convince editors that we're not at all marginal. In the end, Allan has it right: we mostly want to listen and write. And we have to believe that someone out there wants to know what we're thinking.

Posted by drosenberg at July 22, 2005 06:51 AM


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