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The Future of Arts Journalism (I)

Strictly speaking, today's summit from the National Arts Journalism Program about the future of arts journalism isn't about classical music. But the future of arts journalism is, to my mind, a question that affects anyone interested in classical music, particularly anyone reading about it on a blog. In our age of struggling newspapers and shrinking arts coverage, when many papers are cutting their classical music critics altogether, is there a future for arts journalism? And what might it look like?

Accordingly, I've decided to host the live feed of this summit on this blog. The summit is presenting five different projects involving future models for arts journalism, two directly related to music. But the summit itself also represents a new experimental model. The participants are speaking to a live audience of 200, but seeking to reach the largest possible audience through the Web and on Twitter (hashtag #artsj09). The point is to create a forum for discussion.

The event starts at noon, Eastern time, at which point I'll put up another post with the live feed.

But there's no reason the discussion has to be limited to the actual summit. What are your thoughts on current trends in arts journalism? Do you have ideas about how to deal with the limitations in print coverage? Do you look forward to, or tremble at, the advance of multi-media and internet-based forums and modes of coverage? It seems to me that everyone who loves the arts has some kind of opinion on this topic. Let's hear them.

By Anne Midgette  |  October 2, 2009; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  national , news  
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Blogs, websites, and social media should be embraced, both by journalists and the artists themselves.

Too many artists fail to recognize the power of these tools and their ability to help elevate their awareness and/or exposure among their peers, colleagues, journalists, industry officials and fans.

Others have been keen enough to stay abreast of trends and developments in these areas, and how they can use them to their advantage.

Because these are also areas that are still evolving, artists and journalists have a great opportunity to participate in a creative process and help shape their future.

It's inevitable: these are parts of our world now, and as "scary" as they might be to some, it's what younger folks - those who will make up the next generation of arts supporters - are familiar with and understand. It may not be an easy transition, but it's a critical one.

Posted by: azender | October 2, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

instantencore was kinda cool, but I wonder if it is a democratization. If it becomes the dominant source for "everything classical music", then it has the ability to control how people learn about this music by whatever it choses to highlight on the front page. I suppose that is a problem with every aggregator; they can be helpful but also rather restrictive if their users limit themselves to just one resource. I'm not sure I like that. I really like how things are split up. And I agree with the comment that aggregators would be useless if there is nothing there to aggregate.

I think that's the real problem. Newspapers/Providers need to find a way to get enough revenue to keep arts journalism alive (unless it becomes an unpaid profession). And this won't happen until websites start charging for their content online. (disclosure: I'm biased since I already subsidize WP and NYT content online by paying for it in print.)

Posted by: prokaryote | October 2, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

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