Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture Review

Arts and culture Review is a newspaper genre which serves to evaluate cultural products by situating them within historical, societal, and educational contexts of consumption, creating meaning through analysis. Reviews play an integral part in media systems of intermediation; connecting producers to consumers of cultural products while contributing to an array of benefits across economic, societal, and educational areas (Bazalgette 2015).

Respondents of this research project addressed local reviews by developing the idea of community-conforming criticism pertaining to their local journalistic ecosystems and forerunners. Their response fits well into public and theoretical discussions of reviewing’s crisis, where critics have been suggested as disappearing from public life (Jaakkola 2015; Riegert 2021).

Local criticism in newspapers is an interesting phenomenon because its specific conditions for development do not clearly conform with those associated with journalism or journalistic practice generally. Instead, its concept can be seen as an attempt at rethinking existing social relations among communities, journalists and artists.

All interviewees highlighted the significance of maintaining strong ties to their local communities as a primary motivation for participating in this local criticism project. Furthermore, all emphasised the role their analyses played in contributing to an emerging sense of cultural identity for local residents and that the review provided visibility, information and support (Rogers 2010).

Respondent’s perspectives regarding the necessary knowledge required for performing the role of local critic were also very distinct from that of an average journalist or reviewer. All agreed that it was essential for reviewers to have knowledge in the area they were reviewing; however, some noted that being aware of cultural production wasn’t necessary to effectively writing reviews – rather, being able to verbalise ideas and experiences was far more critical for success. As part of their cultural learning experience, young critics would acquire necessary knowledge by working in the field. Respondents emphasized the importance of gaining local knowledge through direct engagement with cultural products rather than conducting in-depth research in advance. This aspect was seen as essential to the local criticism project since its objective was to produce criticism which accurately represented local community realities while sidestepping elitist characteristics associated with traditional newspaper reviews.

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