I'm drawing a blank.
July 22, 2011 4:32 PM   Subscribe

I seem to have volunteered to write a regular newspaper column on the Arts in my local community. I have a mentor who will find topics for me and introduce me to the right people. What I need now is resources / examples and anything that I might not have thought to ask about (including pitching to the paper).
posted by b33j to Media & Arts (3 answers total)
Feel free to MeMail with any specific questions i've been an arts journalist for two decades.

The fact that you have a mentor is good. There's no real rukebook about this, or good references that I know of. Most arts journalists sort of make it up as they go along. I do suggest reading good examples of arts journalism. For staters, I'd suggest John Lahr on theater and Bruce Hainley on fine arts.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:01 PM on July 22, 2011

Photos that you can use for free. Getting cast lists, calendars, and who's showing at what gallery in advance (like months in advance, if possible) will make your job a lot easier.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:32 PM on July 22, 2011

ummm, "including pitching to the paper"? You mean you're about to start writing a regular column but do not currently have a newspaper lined up that's agreed to accept it? You might check into that a little more right now, before you go much further: while there are papers that will accept outside/volunteer columns, it's by no means certain, and far more will say no than yes --- my own employer, for instance: we get this kind of offer all the time, and we *reject* every single one.

There are several reasons to reject columns like this out of hand: lack of control over content (if it's printed regularly, it implies to readers it's the newspaper's viewpoint, even though it isn't!), space considerations (column space = money spent, and they've probably got something they'd rather spend that money printing), and just generally feeling that if it was the sort of thing they'd want to print, they'd do it in-house.
posted by easily confused at 3:04 AM on July 23, 2011

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