Open Arts Journalism: A Trend to Watch?

People-Talking-Profile-Image-320I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of open journalism in the arts. It’s an important question, especially in light of the increased role of social media, blogging, and a general web presence that artists building a career in the 21st century often must maintain.

Cited in O’Reilly Radar as one of the “14 big trends to watch in 2013,” the role of journalism is increasingly being questioned and redefined. What’s open journalism? In short, it’s journalism more open to engaging with the audience. Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger tweeted a few ideas of what this might look like. Here are two that stood out to me:

“It is not an inert, “us” to “them” form of publishing”

“It recognizes that journalists are not the only voices of authority, expertise and interest.”

Dialogue with the people formerly known as the audience, open to new voices and exchanges — what’s critical to open journalism is so radically different from older models of the art world, which have traditionally relied on authoritative sources, i.e., critics and curators, to report on what good art is and where we should be paying attention.

But how would principles of open journalism apply to the arts? Being open to artists’ own writings is key. Not just commenting on but sharing comments posted online. Using social media to create dialogue and not just as a promotional tool. Recognizing that great art could come from anywhere in the world, and how the internet is enabling their work to be seen.

What do you think, dear readers? Hyperallergic has always strived to present a more open form of arts writing. What more could the site and community be doing to make open arts journalism a more common practice?

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