Matt Eagan of The Hartford Courant offers an intelligent, insightful and... and... oh, hell, just plain goddamn depressing piece about the seemingly irreversible decline in the number of film critics -- and fine arts critics -- at newspapers across the United States. Among the money quotes:
"The era of the newspaper film critic, the era of newspaper criticism, seems to be coming to a rapid and unceremonious end. As recently as a decade ago, no self-respecting mid-sized daily newspaper would have dreamed of publishing without a film critic.These days only major cities have them and those that remain (other than [Roger] Ebert) have seen their influence wane."
Every so often, I am asked by a young writer how he or she can get a job as a professional film critic -- that is, how he or she can get paid to write film reviews for a daily newspaper. And I must admit: Increasingly, I am tempted to respond: "Well, you can't. Not anymore. You're better off starting your own website. Pretty soon, the Internet is the only place you'll find serious film critcism." On the other hand, maybe I should just direct them to Eagan's article.