Garbage Men

Carmel Morgan ( a dc-based dance critic) and I have been working on an article for about 8 months now…. I’m not gonna post much, cause we’re working toward ‘real’ publication. But in response to some recent online conversations, here’s a small excerpt:

Bloggers and online news are simultaneously undercutting and enhancing general news coverage, in every field. The issue in arts journalism is the same as in journalism in general; do we need paid journalists at all? Are bloggers and free-lancers sufficient?

Professional critics remind the public to look beyond current trends, and encourage an appreciation of the long view. Classical audiences are aging, as are the defenders of the classics. The arts as a profession obviously feed into arts education. Without adequate connection and understanding between the last generation, the current generation, and the future generation, classical arts will decline.

Beyond consideration of ‘classical’ art, critics contribute to the development of tomorrow’s curriculum. The Humanities are a funnel: millions of creations, ideas, concepts and concerts fall into the world every year. The informed mind, eye, and pen, have helped shape that funnel since the middle ages. The elimination of critic positions in major newspapers threatens to create a chasm between the values and work of recent generations, and those of today.

As the article proceeds it gets into more of the problem, and some potential solutions. There are a lot of issues with newspaper decline, and significant overlap between the economics and the emotions….

by Rob Bettmann
I read yesterday that:

“If tv killed reading, the internet saved writing”

I thought that was interesting. Some months ago read this on John Rockwell’s Articles blog:

“Mediums are not necessarily the message; mediums are the mediums, and if the future is the internet, the present is still partly in print.”

Will hopefully post a full version of our piece in the next few months, following its publication. In the meantime, if you’re wicked curious email me and I can send a draft.

The image here is something I made just to make it, to illustrate our piece – maybe. I have a freelance business making words, images, etc. for people. If you think I can help with something, please contact me. You can see more about the business here.

Author: Robert Bettmann

Founder of Day Eight, and the DC Arts Writing Fellowship.