Sunday, January 5, 2003

The media's message

Shaping culture in 2003

It's like oxygen: Media coverage, 24/7. Television, radio, newspapers, magazines. Surveys tell us that arts and culture matter to people, but driving that message home is a losing battle without the media.

The most obvious example: the media love sports. Even though a boatload of reports prove that more people attend professional arts than professional sports in Cincinnati (and nationally), sports is represented by full segments on every local newscast. Sports teasers run daily at the top of the front page of both local newspapers and each has a daily section devoted to sports.

Players are local celebrities, to be honored or vilified, but regularly appearing in the headlines and getting face time on TV.

At the end of the day, the media have told us what's important - and by omission, what isn't.

In 2003, arts and culture is going to make news. Choices about how to report the news - as isolated incidents or in the context of something a lot bigger than a Bengals season in terms of attendance, local economy and community empowerment - will make a difference.

Media coverage can change our community's perception of itself, and could invite us to think of ourselves as an arts community.

25 forces that will shape culture in 2003
1. The big economic squeeze
2. Clear Channel's dominance
3. Suburbanites: Will they roam?
4. The plea for racial healing
5. The media's message
6. A whole new ball game
7. Edgy art center opening
8. Tall Stacks rolls back
9. Will tourists go home happy?
10. How Fine Arts Fund carries clout
11. You can't fight City Hall
12. Laura Long: Downtown force
13. The CSO's growing empire
14. Rosenthals' big impact
15. Northern Kentucky development
16. Museum Center's main man
17. Lobbyist Weiland
18. UC at crossroads
19. The Nederlanders make a comeback
20. MidPoint: Rebuild the city on rock 'n' roll
21. The Schuster Center alternative
22. Another public art project goes to bat
23. The brain drain
24. Local film community gains focus
25. Dancing around visa problems
The wild card of 2003: War
2003 dates to keep in mind

DEMALINE: The arts
KENDRICK: Alive & Well
Get to it!