Monday, July 24, 2006

The Future Just Happened...

Bill Marx, Theatre Critic and Arts Editor for WBUR sent off his final editorial last week. Unlike Ed Seigel, (former Globe Critic,) who talked more about the state of his Boston Theatre beat, Bill Marx used his column space to address the state of the larger universe of Arts Journalism:

WBUR's decision to end original online arts coverage and focus on arts news and features tailored for broadcast runs counter to the strategy of most major news outlets, from NPR to the "New York Times" and the BBC, which are embracing the web's tremendous potential for interactivity and community via web-exclusive content, blogs, stories, reviews, and podcasts. WBUR is lurching backwards into the future -- I wish it luck.

I wish Mr. Marx luck as well. My contention with some of his views will no doubt be familar to the long-time readers of this blog, but I will miss the development that was proceeding with the WBUR Arts page. If you are interested, or if you wish to leave a personal comment, you can check in on Bill's personal blog.

And if anybody wants to know what the dystopian future Mr. Marx is outlining looks like, look no further than the TV Guide-like, capsulized, cliche-ridden reviews of two recent plays in the Boston Herald. Here. (Which I outlined already.) and Here.

Borrowing from Michael Lewis's great book, I would say, "Don't look now,... the future just happened."

2 comments:

will said...

I firmly believe that for the immediate fuure the best hope for theatre criticism in these parts is on the Web. My own contributions can be found ON THE AISLE at http://profwill.spymac.com, as Quicktakes on Larry Stark's Theatre Mirror, and on Blogger at profwill.blogspot.com aka "And Then I Saw..." But as an IRNE member, it's clear that we need additional strategies to reach the uninformed and the vast student audience which revolves in and out of town.

YS said...

I agree. As a member of the theatrical community here, it has always been a mystery as to why tha vast university student community doesn't seem to attend the plays here.

Is it lack of effort in marketing to those communities? Competetion with Keggers on Friday Night? The student community appears to have disposable income.

I would love to hear your thoughts Will, knowing that you have not only been here in Boston for a while, but also have experience in the Academic world.