Arts journalists forced to become artists

Like an actor who waits tables for a living, underemployed arts
journalists are becoming more like artists in terms of the “piecemeal
way that they are scratching out their existence in order to practice
their craft,” writes Chloe Veltman on her blog “lies like truth.” She suggests that arts journalists are slipping through the funding cracks.

She writes: “journos are having to hold down all manner of part- and full-time jobs that have nothing to do with the media in order to continue doing what until a few years ago would have been regarded as a profession. Now, arts journalism is for many a vocational sideline.”

“With the non-profit model becoming increasingly common among news organizations, the arts-journalist-as-artist concept is similarly taking shape. But the tricky part of this is that while there are lots of mechanisms in place to support the work of artists through residencies and grant-making programs, society hasn’t caught up yet with the notion that the people who cover the arts also need this kind of support these days to practice their craft. There are a few isolated financial opportunities for arts journalists out there such as the very enlightened Warhol Foundation funding for members of the visual arts media. (If you cover music, dance or other artforms, the Warhol Foundation can’t help you, though.)

“But in general, arts journalists are slipping through the funding cracks: Arts funders typically don’t fund arts journalism; they want to support artists exclusively. And media-oriented foundations and fellowship programs seem to be far more interested in supporting areas like investigative, education, science and political journalism as well as media entities that serve underprivileged communities than getting behind arts journalists.”

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