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ArtsBeat: One Small Step for the Times, One Giant Step for Blogkind

I find an encouraging bit of progress for blogs in the NY Timesrecently launched ArtsBeat.
It’s not just that the blog-backward gray lady is belatedly struggling to get hip. It’s that the Times was actually willing to let its reporters start blogging on the digital fringes before they boarded the newsprint mothership.
Only today did Ben Ratliff and Jon Pareles publish hardcopy on Coachella and Jazzfest, respectively, even though they started blogging about these music festivals on Friday.
In my own modest freelance exploits, I have found that mainstream publications green-light proposals on subjects I’ve already blogged about very reluctantly or not at all. Those stuck-in-the-old-media mindsets need consciousness raising. Maybe ArtsBeat will help do it.
It’s also nice that the Times has added a prominent “On the Blogs” heading on its home page, supplementing the tiny-font “Blogs” link, way down in the righthand corner.
Still, the newspaper has a way to go to get it right. For one thing, don’t even bother trying to find “ArtsBeat” by doing a search on the NY Times’ general website or even, specifically, on its Arts section:
Your search for ArtsBeat in all fields returned 0 results.
The funny thing is, if you Google “ArtsBeat,” it’s there.

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