I have been ranting over on QCTImes on "The Burke Show" blog (or something like that) about his recent trip to California to undergo a "journalism/theater boot camp".
See the introduction to the series http://www.qctimes.com/blogs/?p=299
I have tried to get a conversation going and have mostly failed. It appears to me that the trip was a waste of time and energy. It seems to me that time would have been better spent interviewing theater artists in the Quad Cities and finding out what their needs are. Instead, he went to see theater in California. What that will do to improve theater coverage in the Quad Cities I fail to see.
I've not been asked, but I'll put out some ideas that I think will help Quad Cities Theater/Arts coverage.
1. Support "classical" and "fine" arts as much as you support rock/country/pop acts.
2. Support local acts over national acts. When a national act is in town it dominates coverage getting front page coverage before and front page reviews after.
3. Educate critics (locally of course). There is one great critic and one or two good critics in the area.
4. The media should get more involved in local arts, and local arts more involved in the media. Again, 8am on Saturday isn't a big time slot to build an audience with, neither is page 3 or 5 in the Go section. Especially when theater shows are all mashed together under one headline.
There are other quibbles, but mostly the above 4 are a problem.
If the media would work with local artists we could build a nice "scene" in the area. We do have plenty of arts groups, but many are struggling. Excellence seems to be put down, not rewarded.
This can change. I enourage you to get involved in Mr. Burke's conversation. I encourage those bored newspaper writers/editors who may drift over here to spend some time going behind the scenes locally and asking/working with local artists to expand the arts scene which should reward the community and the paper equally.
A few good words is one thing. Media paired with artists is a driving force that we could use to promote the whole area and could be an engine for some economic expansion.
Anyway, just my rant for today, I suppose.