book/daddy: Localism bad for arts coverage
book/daddy (aka Jerome Weeks) dropped in overnight to comment on my post about newspapers aiming for difference, not sameness. Unique content will attract readers, not content (i.e., wire stories) found in a plethora of other sources. The thinking is that editors and journalists need to look locally, not nationally.
book/daddy, however, politely demurred. He said such a mindset might do more to undermine arts coverage, reducing it to a one-man beat shop, than to diversify it. As he writes:
Movies, TV, pop and classical music CDs, books -- all of that is, more or less corporate and nationwide. Ergo, in this scenario, unless there's sufficient local activity in those arts -- and frequently, there isn't -- then there's little reason for much of an arts staff or arts section.
The idea that, say, the local classical music critic might have something original to say about the latest Placido Domingo CD is not a consideration. Without enough of a local TV industry or theater community to bother with, those beats get killed or cobbled together under one arts writer-editor-critic or covered by wire stories.
He also weighed on John Dvorak's argument that national subscriptions to the New York Times are evidence of readers' desire for original content and not wire service copy. book/daddy, in a urbane turn of phrase, calls this "bullshit."
Only people of a certain economic and educated kind buy the NYTimes all over the country. The Times deliberately set out to snare that audience, and the mantra used to be that the Times would sell basically within 5 miles (or 10 or whatever) of any place with a Saks store. In short, college-educated, upper-middle-class- to upper-class people are more alike from Florida to Oregon than they are like their blue-collar neighbors.
Find all of Mr. Weeks' commentary here.
Bloggers We Love
Bridgette Redman and Lansing Theater
Drew McManus' "Neo Classical" at the Partial Observer
Marc Moss (Missoula, MT artist)
Mary Louise Schumacher's "Art City"
Other Great Sites
American Composers Orchestra
Arts & Letters Daily
Center for Arts and Culture
Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive
National Arts Journalism Program
NEA Arts Journalism Institute for Dance Criticism
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater & Musical Theater
New Music Box: American Music Center
USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program
AJ BlogsAJBlogCentral | rss
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog