Federal

Aug 5, 2011

What do we want from arts media?

Some scant research is beginning to reveal that arts journalism runs on objectives and principles that are quite different to those of conventional journalism, writes Lucinda Strahan, a lecturer at the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University.

The axing of the ABC’s weekly arts show Art Nation takes me back to a few years ago when Melbourne’s Astor Cinema nearly shut down. I would hardly ever make the trip to see the scratchy prints they play there on the big screen, but I hated the thought of it not being there. Not many people watched Art Nation but it seems many don’t like the thought of it being axed.

6 comments

Leave a comment

6 thoughts on “What do we want from arts media?

  1. Holden Back

    A 10 minute regular slot for arts coverage – just like sport- on the nightly news would be an interesting experiment.

  2. Vincent O'Donnell

    The is a radio program that treats arts and culture as a suitable subject for news and current affairs. It is Arts Alive on the national Community Radio Network.

    Upbeat, the daily Radio NZ arts program called it ‘very professional’.

    We are up to our 736th weekly one hour program and have outlived all dedicated ABC arts programs, while remaining a top rating show on the network.

    A curious inversion of journalist expectation happens with arts programs: if it is not on the ABC it can’t be a real arts program, and yet the ABC has never tackled arts as current affairs. We have and proved it is quite possible to do arts programming as issues-based not review-based.

    If you want to check it out here is last week’s program (AA 31-2011). Down load from https://download.yousendit.com/T2dmRE92YWJIcWRvZE1UQw

  3. lucinda strahan

    I don’t think it would work. Sport is ‘newsy’ i.e. results-driven, there is something new every time to report on. Arts is different. IF you did have a spot like that on the news then it would quickly degenerate into an entertainment guide due to the fact that the only conventional newsiness of arts is what’s opening this weekend and how long’s it on for. So I don’t think it would ever work in a nightly news bulletin but I really used to like it on 7.30 Report. One of the things I think ABC should do it get more serious journos into arts coverage. I used to love Kerry O’B’s interviews with Paul Kelly and Tim Burton etc In the same way Virginia Trioli does good arts interviews too.

  4. Vincent O'Donnell

    Sorry for the typo. Now corrected.

    There is a radio program that treats arts and culture as a suitable subject for news and current affairs. It is Arts Alive on the national Community Radio Network.

    Upbeat, the daily Radio NZ arts program who is interested in taking Oz content from us, called it ‘very professional’.

    We are up to our 736th weekly one hour program and have outlived all dedicated ABC arts programs, while remaining a top rating show on the network.

    A curious inversion of journalist expectation happens with arts programs: if it is not on the ABC it can’t be a real arts program, and yet the ABC has never tackled arts as current affairs. We have and proved it is quite possible to do arts programming as issues-based not review-based.

    If you want to check it out here is last week’s program (AA 31-2011). Down load from https://download.yousendit.com/T2dmRE92YWJIcWRvZE1UQw

  5. Holden Back

    Lucinda, I would argue that Art Nation wasn’t much more than a glorified entertainment guide: and a more mainstream slot doing that might actually be what the arts needs. To say nothing of more live broadcasts of real performance.

  6. Wayne Carveth

    The depth of most people’s taste in art doesn’t range from opera to graffiti. Fenella & her crew headed for the graffiti end of the arts. The favourable coverage of graffiti incensed me & I imagine the graffitists weren’t impressed with the more mainstream items like the Margaret Olley retrospective and architecture.
    Some of the previews of exhibitions alerted me to go to them & I would have probably have missed them otherwise but the folksongs & graffiti got on my nerves.
    I think the answer is more than one art show each with a narrower focus such as the ABC does with radio. Books & movies already have their own shows.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...