On the hunt for culture and living stories
The fourth week of the NewsTrust Baltimore pilot focused on coverage of culture and living stories. This news hunt ran from Monday, Feb. 21, through Sunday, Feb. 27.
"The experience reinforced my understanding that there are a wonderful range of local media outlets covering culture, from those covering "high" culture, like BMA director Doreen Bolger's blog "Art-Full Life" and B-mag's Arts Editor John Lewis, to those covering pop and street culture, like online magazine Gutter and hip-hop blog Government Names. We're really lucky to have such rich cultural coverage."
Indeed, Baltimore cultural journalists covered a lot of ground this week: contemporary art by African-American women, a sweeping survey of six decades of photography, the life of a legendary Baltimore jazz singer, the city's underrated dance companies, and important stories at the crossroads of politics and culture.
- Live to Dance: The Baltimore dance round robin gets everyone on the floor (reviews) - City Paper
- A historical battle over Maryland statues (reviews) - Baltimore Sun
- Higher tolls coming on bridges, tunnels and highways (reviews) - Maryland Reporter
- Columbia firm gets Artscape concession deal (reviews) - Daily Record
- Startup Sites Work to Rewrite Baltimore's Media Map (reviews) - Bmore Media
- Pow! Bam! Kaboom! Are digital comics the hero or villain? (reviews) - Baltimore Sun
- Pure Ethel (reviews) - Baltimore magazine
- Through the Lens: Seeing Now at the Baltimore Museum of Art (reviews) - Urbanite
- Seeing Now at the BMA (reviews) - What Weekly
- Stoop Storytelling (reviews) - What Weekly
- Baltimore's Best Restaurants (reviews) - Baltimore magazine
Baltimore is home to some of the East coast's great museums and cultural institutions. The city also boasts a vibrant scene of performing and visual arts. There is a diverse (and growing) array of news and opinion outlets devoted to covering the cultural landscape of Baltimore.
A major new exhibition opening at the Baltimore Museum of Art gave readers a chance to sample several flavors of cultural coverage. "Seeing Now: Photography Since 1960" opened on February 20th. What Weekly captured the scene at the opening party (with, fittingly, lots of photographs), and Urbanite took a close look at the works on display and offered a thoughtful review. And The Baltimore Sun's Tim Smith conveyed another take on the exhibit.
NewsTrust reviewers were intrigued by the City Paper's story about Baltimore's "DIY" dance scene. Towson University senior Asia S. Hinton wrote: "This story is a bit lengthy but it has all the elements of good journalism. There are extensive examples of the kinds of dance and a brief description of each. There are also various quotes from the subjects, the story even plays on a past article written by the Baltimore Sun. It also does a great job in describing the emotion and passion of the two subjects in the story. Only suggestion I may have (which many of my teachers at Towson tell me to do) is for the writer to possibly interview someone who is thinking of attending the performance. Overall the story was edited well, and I love the ending quote which ties the story back to its introduction."
Baltimore's place in the national cultural fabric was also on display this week. Baltimore magazine's profile of Ethel Ennis, a jazz singer still going strong after 60 years in show business, demonstrated how one person's life can touch on many aspects of musical and national history. The profile definitely struck a chord with reviewers at NewsTrust, as well. Towson University professor Stacy Spaulding wrote: "This is a lovely portrait of Ethel Ennis. In a city with an important--but often ignored--jazz pedigree, Mrs. Ennis is one of our living treasures. I hope this intimate look will result in more opportunities to see her perform and celebrate her talent and our history."
In a political moment of cultural significance, Maryland's Senate passed a bill to recognize same-sex marriages. In the days ahead, as the action moves to the House of Delegates, check NewsTrust Baltimore for coverage of tracking the momentous debate.
Finally, in a story close to our hearts here at NewsTrust Baltimore, Bmore Media published an interesting story about some innovative online publications contributing to the city's news ecosystem and cultural landscape. We highly recommend taking a look at that piece and checking out the sites it details.
Thanks to our community
We'd like to thank our community members and media and educational partners who helped find the stories that were part of this news hunt. If you are not yet a member of NewsTrust Baltimore, please sign up and join the experiment; your voice is needed and welcome.
This week, you can help us find the best journalism on communities in Baltimore by posting and reviewing stories in the community topic. Our guest host is Fern Shen, editor and publisher of The Baltimore Brew.
Please help us post and review stories on these topics -- the success of this social news experiment depends on the participation of members like you.
Thank you again, and see you on the site!