National Arts Journalism Program
300 Queen Anne Ave. N., #618
Seattle, WA 98109

tel: 206.322.2938
email: najpeditor@najp.org
CONVERGENCE
New Opportunities for Arts Journalism

AN INVITATIONAL CONFERENCE AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY'S GRADUATE SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM

Conference Summary

The National Arts Journalism Program announces CONVERGENCE--NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR ARTS JOURNALISM, a one-day invitational conference at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism on Thursday June 15, 2000.

This meeting brings together, for the first time, traditional print arts journalists engaged in new media initiatives, television and radio producers exploring new programming possibilities afforded by advances in technology, and representatives from major foundations considering electronic arts journalism funding proposals. To coincide with the conference, NAJP will release two specially commissioned research projects assessing arts journalism on-line and on television.

At the dawn of the television era, there were those who believed the medium could be the ultimate vehicle for bringing the arts to vast new audiences. But aside from a few noble efforts over the years, electronic mass media have never fulfilled the promise some saw for them.

The digital revolution promises to break down the monolith of mass culture. Suddenly new opportunities are becoming available to present the arts in electronic form. The internet and the interactive possibilities of broadband, plunging costs of production for television and radio, and a convergence of all media, hold out once again an opportunity to bring the arts to new and wide audiences. Is it possible that the arts are the ultimate niche in an increasingly niche-driven media landscape?

Along the way, arts journalism is being reinvented. Increasingly the way journalism about the arts is being delivered is becoming both more and less relevant. More because digital technology brings down the cost of production and expands channels of distribution and delivery. Less because these channels of distribution are merging and therefore becoming interchangeable.

How can we as arts journalists take advantage of these new technologies to expand both the quality and quantity of arts journalism available? Inherent in the explosion of available media choices are new opportunities to produce and deliver content coupled with the danger of getting lost among the plethora of suddenly-available new media.

A wide range of writers, editors, producers, programmers, and executives at major new-media, radio, and television organizations, including National Public Radio, Public Radio International, PBS, MSNBC, CBS, CBC, Salon, Slate, New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times will attend this unprecedented meeting. In addition, officers from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, NEA, and the Ford, Luce, Markle, Pew, and Rockefeller foundations will be present. Please note the conference is an invitational event, solely for creators, programmers, and funders of arts journalism.

NAJP : Events : Conferences & Symposia : Convergence