The Playgoer: Columbia Journalism disses Arts

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Monday, June 13, 2005

Columbia Journalism disses Arts

For 11 years the Columbia School of Journalism has run a National Arts Journalism Program, which has studied arts coverage in the media as well as subsidized interesting arts critics and writers (like the Voice's Michael Feingold) with residencies.

Well, no more. The new J-School Dean Nicholas Lemann has announced pulling the plug. Apparently the program's privately/self-funded status has proved complicated and led to its demise. But why does Columbia not get behind it?

In an age when serious arts are lucky to get space in a local paper's Weekend Fun! pull-out, the NAJP was an essential gadfly and advocate. And in the age of media, if "we" are not covered, we cease to exist. This is true for no art more than theatre.

You'll have to go to Backstage, of all places, to read about it all.

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