Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Beacon set to cut arts coverage

The NEOhioPAL list published a letter today concerning threatened cuts to arts coverage at the Akron Beacon Journal. Please do as the writer asks and innundate the editors with letters of complaint:

Dear Friends:

It has just come to my attention that the Akron Beacon Journal is planning
major reorganizations within their newsroom which will have sickeningly
ill-effects on the coverage of all of Northeast Ohio's arts community.
Major cuts in ABJ's arts coverage are currently being seriously considered -
actually they are very close to be decided on - and we need everyone's help
in preventing what would be a disastrous blow to the future of information
flow for all artistic disciplines in Northeast Ohio.

Kerry Clawson, our loyal and supportive theatre critic, is having her
position threatened by possibly being reassigned to a new beat, one that
might involve no art whatsoever. After serving as theatre critic for six
years, Kerry has built a strong following of readers who respect her theatre
expertise and have come to depend on her to guide and inform them of
Northeast Ohio's performing arts happenings. Kerry has done a fine job in
covering events in our communities. She has enabled hundreds of thousands
of people to become acquainted with venues and to be informed about events
that perhaps our meager marketing budgets might not have allowed us to
otherwise reach.

In addition, ABJ editors are concurring that a new "No Reviews" policy be
implemented for everything from musical performance, dance concerts, art
openings and exhibits as well as theatre productions in the upcoming weeks.
The absurdity of a daily paper in a Metropolitan area to not provide reviews
of events is difficult to process. For an area so rich in the arts, how
could the Akron Beacon Journal's Editors and higher ups even consider
instilling such a policy - especially since they themselves live within our
communities? Do they not realize that their decisions will take their paper
and possibly our patronage two giant steps backwards instead of forwards?

Please everyone, we need to inundate these people with letters asking - no,
pleading - that they reconsider their destruction to their arts coverage.

Send this letter to more people. I've included contact information for the
VERY PEOPLE who are making these decisions. Send your letter to them AS
SOON AS POSSIBLE. Time is of the essence.

Thank you,

Effie Tsengas

For more information on budget cuts at the ABJ, visit this story:


Please send correspondence to ALL of the following people at the Akron
Beacon Journal in response to the following:

1) MAJOR cuts in their coverage of arts and cultural events.

2) The possible reassignment of theatre reviewer Kerry Clawson to an
entirely new beat

3) A new "no reviews" policy which would limit coverage of all arts
events to preview articles only.

Akron Beacon Journal
44 East Exchange Street
P.O. Box 640
Akron, OH 44309-0640

Publisher, Edward Moss

Editor, Debra Adams Simmons

Managing Editor, Mizell Stewart

Features Editor, Mitch McKenney
(Coverage of features/entertainment)

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