So today's New York Times had an article about the recent trend of dropping "secondary" film critics in the print medium— some well-known— in light of "Web alternatives" and due to the media recession.
It's so easy to drop the "second" movie critic in a recession. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly was quoted as saying: "That the Village Voice doesn't want to pay for two staff movie critics is a joke... There is so much to cover." Exactly. Will there be an outcry because every foreign and independent movie didn't get covered? No. So the powers that be figure they can get by covering the "big" movies to cut corners. And as they say in the article, they'll employ freelancers to cover some of the rest. How lame. So, yes, until the economy improves it'll be that much harder for great small films to get championed. Or to come across a great piece of film criticism.
The article then goes on to say: "Given that movie blogs are strewn about the Web like popcorn on a theater floor, there are those who say that movie criticism is not going away, it's just appearing on a different platform." This I don't quite believe. I don't think bloggers are taking over. I think the "secondary" critic will be back, after the economy improves. And maybe, yes, perhaps online only. But we'll see them again. And we'll see their professional reviews. And us bloggers are just a nice extra layer of thoughts and opinions.