Reviewing the Arts

Reviewing the Arts

Reviewing the Arts

Reviewing the Arts


Reviewing the Arts is written for those media writers assigned to review an artistic event or performance, providing the tools for a journalist to write informed and enlightened reviews of the arts. This useful text guides writers through the steps for producing an acceptable review of fine and performing arts, covering the range of arts from film and television to drama and dance; from sculpture and architecture to music. Author Campbell Titchener suggests ways to approach both familiar and unfamiliar art forms to prepare an informed evaluation, and in this updated third edition he includes current examples from practicing journalists and veteran critics. This practical text fits readily into the journalism curriculum, and will be a useful resource for practicing journalists.


The arts keep rolling along and we with them, reviewing, analyzing, applauding, deploring. Changes in the business in the past decade seem to be peripheral. Staff downsizing on newspapers continues, but the late-century explosion of violence associated with rap music has waned, and instead the performers are not only more mainstream, but are adopting capitalistic practices (chap. 14). of interest is the appropriateness of lyrics and choreography in rap music, which has captured the attention of at least one major tv network (Fox). It has been joined by predictable establishment organizations in decrying the words and movements of many performers.

The powerful influence of the computer is felt everywhere, and access to the Internet has made minor experts of even the most remotely located newspaper writers (chap. 1).

But probably nothing in recent history has had the effect of the mtv half-time show at Superbowl xxxviii. Singer Janet Jackson’s moment of exposure rocked and shocked America, and the fallout is still going on. If nothing else the incident called attention to mtv of millions of tv viewers who up until then had little knowledge of it, or of the power of its programming.

Finally, the advances in motion picture technology are mind-boggling, to say the least. the last and most heralded of the Lord of the Rings trilogy showed that there is nothing, literally, that cannot be presented on the big screen. Creatures, real and imagined, are incredibly life-like, and entire metropolises are created out of pure fancy.

If there is a change in the analysis of the arts it is that there is more criticism presented by more critics, and fewer locally produced reviews. This is taken up in chapter 1.

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