Editor: Why I Killed A Negative Review

The editor who killed a negative review of a book by one of her newspaper’s writers, defends the decision: “I didn’t kill the review because I disliked it (though I’ve been widely quoted saying that I did). And I didn’t kill it because I thought it was poorly done. A tamer version of the same review has since appeared in at least one newspaper, and I find no fault with that. I assumed the freelance writer would sell it elsewhere, and I wasn’t trying to protect Albom from a negative review. I decided not to publish it because that’s not how I want to treat any single employee, and because I think all our employees should be protected from, as one colleague put it, the ethical dilemma and no-win position of passing critical judgment on a colleague’s work.”

Online – Where The Critics Are Really Tough

Broadway internet chatrooms have become a force on the Great White Way. “What is unclear is whether the boards affect a show’s fate. Conventional wisdom says, for instance, that bad Internet buzz about the Boston tryout of the 2000 flop ‘Seussical’ killed the show’s Broadway run. Some disagree, however, saying reviews and, of course, the shows themselves still matter far more than online opinions. Do posts influence shows’ creative teams? If so, no one involved in a production would ever admit it.”

Cutting Off Hollywood’s Nose To Spite Its Face

Hollywood’s attempt to crack down on movie piracy by banning the age-old practice of sending advance copies of Oscar-nominated films to Academy voters is misguided and laughable, writes Peter Howell. “[Fpr Your Consideration] screeners are more than just an ego stroke. They allow critics and awards voters to see many more movies than might otherwise be possible, especially the small gems that get swamped by the blockbusters during the brief window when a large number of films are opening at theatres. The practice contributes to greater awareness on the part of voters, and isn’t that a good thing?”

The Evolution Of The TV Theme

TV shows are as identifiable by their theme songs as by their content, and as the TV age has evolved, so has the character of the jingles which call us to the screen. “Older TV themes shun subtlety in favor of eager exposition… [But today,] viewers are greeted with savvier, less overtly cheesy intros, from pitch-perfect indie rock matches (‘Crank Yankers’ and Fountains of Wayne; ‘Malcolm In the Middle’ and They Might Be Giants) to savvy instrumentals (the sweeping Irish-tinged cellos of ‘Angel’; the sassy cha-cha of ‘Sex and the City.’)”

Thinking Too Small In KC?

Kansas City’s massive new performing arts center will be many things to many local arts organizations, or at least that’s the assumption. Among the individual components of the PAC will be a concert hall for the exclusive use of the Kansas City Symphony. The orchestra is grateful for having been included, but complaints are mounting about the small size of the hall, and some KCS staffers are wondering if the orchestra could ever hope to make money, or grow as an organization, in a hall with only 1,200 seats.

Looted Art and Technology’s Limitations

“The recent unveiling of a new Web site listing artworks that may have been looted by the Nazis had at least two unintended consequences, experts say. First, it underscored how much stolen art falls outside the purview of the new venture — the vast majority. Second, it reminded Holocaust survivors who are trying to reclaim stolen art how far the issue of property restitution has fallen from public consciousness and political discourse.”

The Money’s There. But Who Knows How To Get It?

You could make a fairly convincing argument that, even in times of economic downturn, there is always plenty of money in America that could be used to fund our perennially underfunded theaters, orchestras, and other arts groups. But for many arts groups, the central problem is finding a truly qualified professional who knows how to find that money and convince the people who have it to give it up. In fact the non-profit development director may be the most understaffed position in the American cultural scene at the moment. And that’s a dangerous thing, because, like it or not, money makes the arts world go round.

I.M Pei And The National Gallery (A Love Story)

The National Gallery’s I.M. Pei-designed East Building turns 25 this year. “Pei has staked his career on bold visions and controversial stands. Architects have voted the building one of the 10 best in America. Pei has just admitted to ‘great affection’ for his creation, as well he should. The East Building’s extraordinary geometries and modern spirit established Pei as a 20th-century master. Success here also propelled him on to the challenge of his career, the historic remaking of France’s grand Louvre museum.”