Arts & Entertainment, etc. and Letters and Communications and Media & Marketing

Public needs arts reporting

January 12, 2009

I greatly appreciate the quality coverage you, as a publication, are giving to the cultural industry in our community.

In reference to your [Dec. 15] article "Critic cutback panned"—One of my colleagues was quoted as saying, "I'm not sure there's a great tradition in this community of critical writing." When I first began my career in Indianapolis, nearly 20 years ago, the community had a strong tradition of quality criticism—we should not forget the remarkable work of Corbin Patrick, Charles Staff and others.

The arts not only need good criticism but, most important, the public needs it. Criticism is an art form in its own right. My hope is that various media outlets will recognize the value and the growing community interest for learned criticism backed by insightful writing. The Indianapolis Star has cut down the space for such writing in its print publication, which has to be frustrating to the journalists left to cover Indy's cultural scene. Others, like IBJ, are taking up some of the slack. We recognize, too, that electronic media is and can bear more and more of the responsibility.

As bloggers and others opine on the arts, it is truly desired to have a strong tradition of critical writing by journalists who know, respect and love the arts rekindle. The tradition of Patrick, Staff and company can be honored.

Again, thank you for your coverage of a important topic!

John Pickett
Executive director
Indianapolis Opera

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