Maybe this is pushing self-referential naval-gazing to the limit, but there’s an increasingly rich dialogue taking place away from the arts pages of the papers on the blogs, personal or media-led, instead. It’s a phemenon that Guardian blogger Maxie Szalwinska has usefully noted in her entry on the Guardian’s Culturevulture blog today.
She notes how theatre coverage in the US is undergoing what she calls “a mini-revolution”, as the blogosphere is “reaching corners the increasingly PR-driven and squeezed-for-space arts pages of the print media can’t (or won’t).” She goes on, “A bevvy of New York-based playwrights, critics, directors, academics and assorted drama fans are using blogs to have conversations about theatre culture, post reviews, challenge critical consensus, respond to breaking news and plug their productions. What binds them together, from the formidably prolific Superfluities to Playgoer, is genuine excitement about the medium.”
We may be lagging a little behind here in the UK, she says, but points out we’re catching on – and cites this blog as one that’s worth checking out (so it’s only fair to repay the compliment and say that The Guardian is leading the way amongst the national papers in getting their critics to participate, with Michael Billington posting regularly there).
The PR industry working in the Arts sector has an opportunity to be in the forefront in the UK.