ArtPride New Jersey, an organization devoted to advancing, promoting and advocating for the arts in New Jersey, is leading a petition drive protesting the New York Times’ recent decision to reduce its New Jersey arts coverage.
In a recent memo, Times metro editor Wendell Jamieson told “reviewers and writers of Metropolitan’s regional pages” that the reviews and features they have been writing will no longer be needed, and that “(Times executive editor) Dean Baquet and I have decided that the resources and energy currently devoted to these local pages could be better directed elsewhere.”
The Metropolitan section will still be published, but as of Aug. 29, it will no longer contain articles zoned specifically for New Jersey (or Westchester, Long Island or Connecticut). Other Times writers may occasionally cover Jersey-related stories, of course, but that steady stream of Jersey content will no longer exist.
To sign the petition, visit artpridenj.com. Here is the text:
I am deeply concerned to learn that the Metropolitan Section of the (New York) Times will end its coverage of New Jersey arts organizations’ events. Effective August 29th, the Times will no longer provide previews, reviews, or listings of any New Jersey arts activities in this section.
I urge you to reconsider this drastic decision and continue the New Jersey regional edition that features arts events throughout the state.
This short-sighted move will negatively impact readership of the New York Times and the arts groups and restaurants that have benefited from feature articles, listings, and critical reviews. This decision also neglects the growing audience in the tri-state region for diverse entertainment, fine art and dining options in New Jersey — the audience that has come to rely on the Metro Section for quality news coverage and timely listings.
I urge you to reconsider this abrupt cessation of coverage and continue to provide the fine content of arts and dining in New Jersey that readers identify with The New York Times.
A personal note:
I have signed this petition, and encourage anyone reading this to do so, as well. However, I believe it’s a long shot that the Times will change its policy. This is a move forced by economic necessity, and the way the newspaper industry is going, things will only get worse in the future.
I think it’s more important that people who want to support Jersey arts support media outlets that are still focused on Jersey arts. Like, for instance, NJArts.net.
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