A movie review on Amazon is not Roger Ebert, and if you’d ask any avid reader, they’d all tell you that the one isn’t even comparable to the other and that they’d never even consider getting their entertainment criticism on Amazon or through a cold, anonymous recommmendation [sic] engine on Netflix. Yet that’s exactly what so many Americans are doing now. Nobody makes any sort of conscious decision to stop reading entertainment journalism and arts criticism. It just turns out that way.
Debrouwere’s May 4th article has been causing a stir across the web because it gets to the heart of the problems with old media. The crux of his argument is that journalism isn’t just changing, it’s being replaced by other kinds of content many of us never anticipated.
He gets so much right about what’s wrong with the old way of thinking about journalism. The above quote, the only bit in his piece that relates to film criticism, nails it. Most readers probably still claim to love reading film reviews, but in reality that’s just not where they’re getting most of their movie advice from.
Read every word of Debrouwere’s piece. It’s a sobering breakdown of where the industry is. He wraps it back around to the notion that by letting go of our old, stodgy outlook of journalism (and other things that used to fill newspapers) we can look forward to a more exciting written future. I’m game.