Opinion: what do changes in the Boston Globe’s arts section mean?

Posted on: June 30, 2016

On Monday (6/27) at Artsfuse.org, Bill Marx writes, “Boston Globe Arts Editor Rebecca Ostriker responded to Dan Kennedy’s Media Nation blog entry about reports (here and elsewhere) of cutbacks in the Globe’s arts coverage. It is a revealing statement: ‘We will continue to showcase the superb work of our staff critics in every area of the arts.… As we weigh our priorities when it comes to freelance coverage, we are shifting our focus to emphasize reported feature stories.’ … For medium- to small-sized groups, fewer freelance critics will mean fewer reviews.… The Globe is asking its freelancers to write feature articles rather than reviews. Why should we care? … Arts reviews are news because they are evaluations from and on the cultural front lines. There is room for feisty appraisal in politics, sports, and business coverage—but for some reason (saving column inches? small companies have no economic power? criticism is elitist? everybody is a critic?) there will now be less of that kind of engagement in the Globe arts section regarding the activity of a sizable chunk of the local arts community.”

Posted June 30, 2016