“The film critic is dead. Long live the film critic.” So argued movie buff Ronald Bergan on The Guardian’s film blog earlier this year, contesting claims that the internet has done away with the need for professional reviewers now anyone can express an opinion on the latest film, book, song, play or painting online.
Certainly, the landscape of arts journalism is changing, with fewer full-time critics and less space given over to coverage in the traditional print media. However, at a time when the arts are facing major funding cuts, the role and responsibility of the professional arts journalist has never been greater.
Reporters keep the public informed of front-line cuts. Commentators call government policy and the cultural sector to account. And the army of writers still interviewing, previewing and reviewing on a daily basis ensure that arts stay on the agenda and, crucially, that audiences keep on coming.
But how to be paid for the work you produce? This is the dilemma facing a new generation of culture vultures keen on a career in this most competitive corner of the media. So, in the next instalment of our series of journalism Q&As, we’ve persuaded a panel of arts writers to give up asking questions for an afternoon and answer yours instead. Join them here from 1pm on December 1.