A TImely Discussion

Commentary

Recently I noticed, and signed a petition that will be sent to the major news publishers in Australia, that I hope will catch people’s attention.

The petition asks that arts reporting be included in regular new reporting. This is not talking about art as a “happy note” at the end of a news bulletin, or a sensationalist article about a whopping high price paid at auction for a master piece, or some new or controversial artwork.

Australia is noted to be a “sports mad” nation, which is widely supported by the attention it is given in the media. However, not everyone follows the footy, rugby or whatever, on a regular basis. Personally, I only get interested when a good tennis match is on, and my other “sporting” interests rarely get a regular look in, just like the arts, unless you are willing to go to the ABC or “cable” channels for their input.

These sadly do not encourage the arts to be perceived as an important, and regular part of our modern society, and something that be enjoyed by everyone, not just the academically elite, or financially well-off.

Artists live and work as part of the community. They write and visualise the world around us and attempt to bring their visions to life to engage with the public. I know this as a visual artist. It is because of this that I lament the lack of stories about the broad range of activity that is going on in the arts in Australia in our media and am happy that a small, but significant, group are starting to make waves.

I welcome input from people in the arts, and those who are interested in art, or would like to be. Do you think that arts critiques and reporting should be introduced as regular items in the news, and if so, do you think that uniquely qualified professionals should be responsible for presenting it? Afterall, we have political reporters, finance reporters, etc. who have specific expertise, so why not qualified arts critics and arts reporter, specialising in visual art, performance art, theatre, music, or movies?

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