Arts, cultural, and humanities professionals and individual artists were dismayed when the Deseret News recently laid off much of it's staff, including all features writers and A&E critics.
City Weekly and the Salt Lake Tribune both reported the results of a meeting between the Deseret News and three large arts groups in which the Desert News communicated that arts coverage would not decline but that reviews and previews by professional critics and journalists would be replaced by user-generated content.
We all know why professional journalists reviewing and previewing our plays, performances, movies, exhibits, books, lectures, concerts, etc. is important. Enter the Utah Cultural Alliance.
The Deseret News reported that lack of online clicks contributed towards their decision to lay off the features departments. We at the Utah Cultural Alliance think that the online stats don't necessarily show the lack of popularity of arts coverage but rather perhaps reflect the fact that most readers interested in cultural content read online. So two solutions:
1) We've created a survey to gauge the reading habits of arts professionals to see if most of us really do read the print editions. Please take a moment to respond and, to make this clearly effective, share this survey with the rest of your staff, your members, your board, your volunteers, etc. We will share the results with you as well as Utah's journalist community. Maybe we'll find most don't read online.
2) We've got to Click It to Keep It. If we want the papers to review and preview our events, we've got to increase the readership of cultural stories. Not only that, but as Celia Baker, a free-lance writer at the Salt Lake Tribune suggests, we've got to make more comments on arts stories.
How Click It to Keep It Works:
Every week the Utah Cultural Alliance will search the papers, weeklies, and magazines for articles about our members.
We'll post those articles in our newsletter.
You've got to go Click on them so we can Keep then! And write comments.
Our Administrative Director can't find every single story, so if you want to ensure that your article is listed, send it to Crystal @ firstname.lastname@example.org before 10:30am on Mondays. Remember, only articles about current UCA Members will be posted in the newsletter.