May 31, 2005

ARTICLE | It's getting crowded in the ivory tower

by Chris Jones
Source: Chicago Tribune

Chris Jones reports on a particularly lousy week for critics, especially those of the insecure variety. Says Jones: "On May 22, the Los Angeles Times published a lengthy and painfully resonant article declaring that critics have lost all their clout -- reduced to the compost of irrelevance by an unstoppable combination of declining newspapers, diminishing literacy, peripatetic blogs, gonzo marketing, ubiquitous user reviews and the critics' own hapless elitism.

"This billet-doux was penned in honor of this weekend's historic joint Los Angeles conference of critics from several arts disciplines. If critics weren't already depressed in their rare unity, they sure were by the time they arrived to the news of their own imminent demise.For arts critics, there was more doom and gloom to come.

"On Monday, the board of the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University -- a rare group that probed, advocated and generally cared about the field of cultural reporting and criticism -- announced that it was closing its doors, due to the expiration of a pivotal grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts."

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