Posted at 8:38 AM on May 6, 2008
by Gillian Martin
I find this curious: just as newspapers are letting their arts critics go left and right, the USC Annenberg School for Communication is launching a new Master's in Arts Journalism program.
"This program will bring together journalists wanting to cover the arts, and artists wanting to comment on changes in their fields of work. We believe they will learn from each other and develop the intellectual and skill sets needed for cultural journalism," said Annenberg's Michael Parks.
But where will they practice it?
It is a curious beast, this USC Annenberg Master's degree program in Arts Journalism. But these are -- as you have said -- curious, shape-shifting times. Just as artists are not going to stop making art, and culture is not going to cease, so too arts writers and editors and broadcasters are not going to change heart and walk away from the arts. This program acknowledges the technological revolution and the real need, as great as ever, to train arts journalists to take advantage of the digital terrain and practice good journalism using business models that some have already established to great success.
Remember that traditionally arts + culture journalists get zero, zilch, zip training except on the job training. If you only look at the dollars and what's in it for you to write about the arts, you may be very alone. This program asks different questions. It's about moving forward, not lamenting what's lost and what coulda, shoulda, woulda.
Thanks for your interest.
Director, Arts Journalism Programs
USC Annenberg School for Communication