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Journalist Fellows' Papers

Anyone can be a critic: Is There Still a Need for Professional Arts and Culture Journalism in the Digital Age?

Reuters Institute Fellow's Paper

Jarkko Jokelainen, an arts journalist at Helsingin Sanomat in Finland, has written an important account of how the digital transition is changing the work of arts and culture journalists and critics.

In his paper, ‘Anyone can be a critic: is there still a need for Professional Arts and Culture Journalism in the Digital Age?', Jarrko takes a detailed look at three sites out of the growing number of all-online publications that have already established themselves: the Arts Desk, and the Quietus and Drowned In Sound, two of the most successful music websites in the UK.  He ends with several recommendations for budding arts journalists. Jarkko writes about his research: ‘there has been a lot of talk about the decline of culture journalism since the breakthrough of the internet. However, the discussion should be about the changing nature of journalism, not the decline. Culture journalism and criticism are not going to disappear anytime soon. Never before has so much arts and culture journalism been accessible, and never before has there been so much discussion. The forum is open for everyone who is interested. Anyone can be a critic, and many will. However, serious criticism and features seem to be endangered as the space for arts and culture is shrinking in print. On the internet there seem to be less need for specialised journalists. Therefore it is obvious that there will be casualties, and finding work as a professional arts and culture journalist will be a real challenge.

As with all Fellows’ research papers, any opinions expressed are those of the author and not of the Institute.

Image: REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz