Monday, March 02, 2015

The Continuing Destruction of Arts Journalism: Mercury News Edition

The San Jose Mercury News has done its part to wreck arts journalism and marginalize classical music: they've assigned classical and jazz critic Richard Scheinin to Real Estate.

Rich is hugely knowledgeable about music and a great writer. He covers the San Jose to San Francisco area, and writes about performances that the Bay Area's sole remaining full-time critic, Joshua Kosman, can't get to, including those of Symphony Silicon Valley and events at Bing Hall and elsewhere on the peninsula and south bay.

The Merc has posted some happy-face doubletalk from Randy McMullen, Arts & Entertainment editor for the paper. Yes, your talented team of staff writers and freelancers: I should note that likely this includes Georgia Rowe, another great classical music critic who lost her own full-time position when BNG consolidated its classical coverage a few years back.

There is absolutely no comfort in what McMullen writes, and I cannot make any sense of the reassignment of a music critic to covering real estate. You wouldn't ask a science writer to cover music, most likely: these are specialist areas. (I'd argue that real estate is as well. Net present value, anyone?)

This leaves the entire state of California with three (3) full-time music critics: Joshua Kosman (Chron), Tim Mangan (OC Register - and you may remember Tim's exile to the celebrity entertainer beat), and Mark Swed (LA Times).  SFCV and music bloggers become ever more critical to the music-journalism mission.

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