Chicago's top taste makers discuss why they critique culture-and why anyone should listen to them.
As bloggers’ fortunes rise and print space for criticism recedes, the once-rigid lines between professional critics and amateurs are now seriously blurred. Many self-published, self-decreed online critics are being taken seriously by businesses and PR firms, and some print publications are looking to the Internet for talent; meanwhile most print outlets have established blogs to which their critics are expected to contribute, and some critics, frustrated by their shrinking real estate in print, have turned to the Web on their own.
To try and make some sense of the changing critical landscape, we convened a panel of critics, from established newspaper writers to independent bloggers, to talk about what makes for good criticism in any medium. Appropriately for our topic, we got together in an online chatroom. Excerpts from this chat appeared in print, and the full version (edited only for grammar and clarity) appears here.
Jim DeRogatis, music critic, Chicago Sun-Times and Sound Opinions
Don Hall, theater blogger, An Angry White Guy in Chicago
Anne Holub, editor, Gapers Block’s music blog Transmission
Sam Jones, pseudonymous books blogger, Golden Rule Jones
Nathan Rabin, head writer, The Onion’s A.V. Club
Donna Seaman, books critic, Booklist and WLUW’s Open Books
Chuck Sudo, food writer, Chicagoist
Mike Sula, food writer, Chicago Reader
Moderator: Kris Vire, theater writer, Time Out Chicago; blogger, Storefront Rebellion