When The Mob Turns Angry, What's A Museum To Do?

A week ago New York Magazine art critic Jerry Saltz launched a bomb on his Facebook page: "The Museum of Modern Art practices a form of gender-based apartheid. Of the 383 works currently installed on the 4th and 5th floors of the permanent collection, only 19 are by women; that's 4%. There are 135 different artists installed on these floors; only nine of them are women; that's 6%. MoMA is telling … [Read more...]

Of Rocket Science And Making Money On Journalism

Further to yesterday's post on how newspapers ought to expand their definition of news to make money comes this post by Steve Outing, suggesting such a strategy:The way for newspapers to charge for content is not rocket science. They must create new types of high-value, probably niche, content, communities, and/or services that are unique enough that people will be willing to pay for them. That's … [Read more...]

Maybe It's Time To Think Bigger?

So journalism has to change. Everyone gets that. But most new models I see are really traditional journalism gussied up in new tools. Or, they reinvent in such a way that throws away some traditional journalistic values. Most conceptual re-imagining of journalism is still tied to the events-of-the-hour sort. What happened today. Traditional journalism has been good at this kind of reporting, not … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Think About Social Networking And The Arts (the zen of "free" as a strategy)

Power in numbers. There ought to be a simple formula to calculate it. Is it better to have a small devoted audience or a massive casual one? It depends on the scale of what you're trying to do. TV has power because it has the ability to attract millions of viewers. The New York Review of Books has power because though its audience is small, it is influential.The problem is when the scale of the … [Read more...]

A New ArtsJournal Blog

I'm very happy to announce the latest ArtsJournal blog, Creative Destruction, by orchestra conductor John Dodson. I met John last summer while I was working on a story for Symphony magazine on new ways of running orchestras. John is music director of the tiny Adrian Symphony in Adrian, Michigan, pop. 21,703. In the past seven years he's remade the orchestra with executive director Susan Hoffman … [Read more...]

The Politics Of Free – Why Giving "Stuff" Away Is An Interesting Business Model

Over at the top of the Studio 360 website on their segment about the state of arts journalism, there's a quote by me that says that the best business model right now is to give away as much "stuff" as you can. Okay, a bit inelegantly expressed, in the course of a long audio interview for the show. You can hear the full segment here: But the idea isn't new. And it's not mine. Cory Doctorow has … [Read more...]

If It Was Just About The Money We'd All Be Making Porn

A movie studio exec once told me that if it were true that Hollywood was only interested in making money, the studios would have long ago ditched what they were doing and made porn. Huge money in porn, apparently. Who knew? Much as it's easy to dismiss the moguls for chasing money, there is an aesthetic at work. And much as it's important to have an eye on the bottom line, to succeed over the long … [Read more...]

Us Against "Them" (That Anti-Expert Thing Again)

In the Weekly Standard, John Podhoretz has noted the carnage of movie critics at newspapers. He isn't weeping. Movie criticism has been a feature of American newspapers for a century, and sadly, one can count the standout critics throughout that time on maybe two hands. Many of these jobs were filled by reporters or editors who didn't get another plum assignment and were thrown a bone by a gruff … [Read more...]

Incremental Arts. Incremental Arts Journalism?

A few years ago I was hired to consult on a national radio show to develop a plan for covering the arts. I suggested that trying to cover culture in a scattershot way (one from column A, two from column B...) was an archaic approach that ought to be abandoned. Sports isn't covered like that. Politics isn't. Events don't happen in isolation. They're part of an arc of context. Why is it news that … [Read more...]

The Big Newspaper E-Reader Gamble

Several new large-format e-readers are about to go on sale. Newspaper execs are excited:These devices from Amazon and other manufacturers offer an almost irresistible proposition to newspaper and magazine industries. They would allow publishers to save millions on the cost of printing and distributing their publications, at precisely a time when their businesses are under historic levels of … [Read more...]