There’s been a lot of coverage lately of the dismissal/downsizing of some of the nation’s top print classical music critics.Â And there should have been.Â Newspapers are one of the primary ways that orchestras communicate and market to their target audiences.Â Check out these statistics, courtesy of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA):
- 74% of newspaper readers are 45 years of age or older
- 51% of newspaper subscribers earn more than $50K
- 53% of newspaper subscribers have attended college and/or have earned advanced degrees
Sounds a lot like the average symphony attendee, doesn’t it?
Plus, with orchestras being in such a fragile state financially, having trained journalists with long experience (and the accountability that should go with a position at a daily or weekly paper) covering their beats is essential.
As a blogger who makes no claims to being a journalist, either in an amateur or professional capacity, I’m concerned about rumor-mongering and innuendo that could place livelihoods and the health of entire organizations in danger.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some excellent arts bloggers out there, but I find that I put a lot more faith in those who have either had a print journalism background or those who are currently active in the field of print journalism.
I’m not sure why the newspapers are shooting themselves in the foot (or other, less strategically desirable body parts), but I hope that our hometown daily, the Oregonian, keeps their one full-time classical music critic around for years to come.