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May 15, 2006

Some Comments By Readers...

by Douglas McLennan

You can find complete comments here.

I would disagree that blogs will have no ability to upset journals or other traditional media - we just can't see it yet. In academic circles, it used to be that web materials of any variety were unacceptable for use, being too "unreliable" to serve as reputable resources. But that has changed, and with time, so will blogging. - Claire Blaustein

Blogs often give news, and like newspapers, are discarded from day to day. Yes, they are way ahead of scholarly publications, but their content is not important enough to be lasting. Published articles, on the other hand, will be used by the following generations in a very different way than blogs will be used. I don't think that anything will be made obsolete by blogs. Rather, blogs are filling a void. But they don't threaten the stability of any other form of dialogue. - Jason

Don't get stuck here on the issue of blogging , please, fellow arts journalists. Some of the bigger issues are intellectual property rights, outlets for freelancers, pay scales keeping up with the rest of the economy, the failure of the leadership organizations behind the National Critics Conference to follow up their mandate, the ignorance of the general arts public about the value of critics, the dismissal by the overall culture of the importance of critical thinking. I hope the Philadelphia convention will shed some light on how to move forward, together, dealing with these problems. - Howard Mandel

As Offical Journalists, our name, our sign, our scat remains to claim us: we, the Actual Person are responsible for our words and what they represent. Yes, much art journalism is unreadable gobblygook. Insider, obtuse crap that comes across as more masturbatory than celebratory. Alas, much that makes blogland applies to the latter, as well. - Karen Michel

Writing in any medium, I believe fervently, creates its own legitimacy. Or not. I started my own blog as an experiment: could I, by offering the kind of discussion that is not available in our daily papers, create a legitimacy without the huge economic machine of the print media to back me up? The answer, in a small way, is yes, of course it's possible. I work more or less as any other critic, as part of the press; I get the press releases and tickets and so on. The only difference is that I don't get paid. - Alison Croggon

For the moment, what the best cultural bloggers provide is extended attention to events and trends for which there is little space in the print media today... Blogs also offer, through the links and community possible through the Internet, a larger, self-correcting community that only 20 years would have been unthinkable... Just because the Web sites of newspapers and magazines can boast an astronomically greater circulation than any individual blogger (or, for that matter, group of bloggers) does not mean this is where the best can be found. - George Hunka

Posted by mclennan at May 15, 2006 9:52 AM


In popular culture, we the people seem to find the cream of the milk. Good art resonates in a way that can't be stopped, in spite of good or bad critical reviews. It's the phenomena of break out independent films that become blockbusters when productions with budgets large enough to run a small country for a year flop and die. We, the average person, do have radar for good art. In the fine arts, there is a greater process of learning the language, understanding the value, recognizing the nuances and references. So what is the role of the critic? I turn to the weekend section on Friday to pick a movie for date night. I read critics I respect to gain insight into the concert I may never attend or the gallery I may choose to explore. I savor the well-written analysis that holds as much literary value as the book under review. To debate whether blogs will drown out mainstream media is like saying moving pictures will kill legitimate theatre, television is the demise of film. It's more of a complementary and evolutionary process, each medium builds on the next but if it's good, it survives as the fittest. Hopefully the competition will be healthy, bring a standard of good writing to the blogs and a freshening to the mainstream media.

Posted by: Polita at May 15, 2006 5:16 PM

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