Around the Country, Newspapers Cut Arts Critics

BY Arts Desk  April 20, 2009 at 5:08 PM EDT

The Pulitzer Prizes were announced today. It’s a time to celebrate the best in journalism, but also a chance for us to look at changes in the industry and their impact on the quality of newspaper coverage. One area that’s been particularly hard hit by cutbacks at newspapers is arts, music and theater criticism. Just last week, the Atlanta Journal Constitution announced it was letting go its entire criticism staff, an increasingly familiar story. To find out what’s going on, we talked to Tim Smith, music critic of the Baltimore Sun and current president of the Music Critics Association of North America, and Margaret McGurk, who up until 2005 was the movie reviewer of the Cincinnati Enquirer. She now freelances.

They joined me both by phone: