Arts journalism is facing challenges everywhere. And now you can add two more cuts on the Indy front:
As you probably know, about a year ago, IBJ opted to eliminate its A&E editor position (one I held for 12 years). Instead of my blog, eblast, weekly dining and arts reviews, and other cultural coverage, IBJ switched to a weekly. freelanced Explore piece–sometimes arts preview/sometimes other things-to-do pieces. I wrote a bunch of these and was happy to have the assignments. Unfortunately, I just got word that those pieces have been eliminated as of this week’s issue. Instead, in the back of every issue, going forward, you’ll find a sports column. A good one. But no A&E (except the A&E Season Preview).
At the same time, in spite of dedicated two-year primary funding by the Central Indiana Community Foundation, Indy Star is opting not to bring in an arts & culture columnist–a position announced over a year ago.
The media world is a brutal one right now. I don’t envy the job of those having to dealing with shrinking resources. And both of these publications have staffs that include terrific journalists doing very important work. I don’t want to diminish any of that or appear anything but appreciative for the dedication IBJ gave to Indy’s cultural life during my tenure there.
But these are painful blows to an important aspect of life here in Indy.
Not having the arts as part of the mainstream dialogue makes it that much harder to make the case that it is an important part of civic life as well as one of the great things about being a human being.
Don’t worry about me. I’ll have some much better news to announce later this week. And I’ll continue to write about Indy arts wherever and whenever the opportunities arise. I believe that’s important.
I’m just bummed for Indy right now.