Competition for Arts Journalism Businesses with “Real Promise” Announced


MousetrapIf you’re sick of hearing people predict the death of arts journalism (unless you believe that if only everyone would agree to stick to good news, the world would turn similarly Pollyannish), here is an opportunity to join a project of such gumption that it might just prove prescient.

If you’re looking for examples of projects that have already been submitted, by the way, click here.

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In the meantime, here’s the press release:

University of Southern California
Annenberg School for Communication
and the
National Arts Journalism Program

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A National Summit on Arts Journalism
Call for Projects

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Submission deadline: August 17, 2009
Summit date: Friday, October 2, 2009
@University of Southern California
Summit Website:
More Information:

Be part of a first-of-its-kind live and virtual gathering of journalists, innovators and media entrepreneurs for an all-day summit exploring the future of arts journalism, Friday, October 2. Five inspired and promising arts journalism models will be showcased at the Summit in front of a live studio audience and a national web audience of concerned journalists, cultural leaders, artists, and media entrepreneurs.

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We’re looking for projects that are cool, relevant and functional, make good business sense, and above all, have real promise to provide an alternative to diminishing arts coverage in the traditional news media. Five projects will be chosen from among those submitted and a representative of each will be brought to Los Angeles to make a presentation in front of an invited audience of cultural leaders, foundation representatives, venture capitalists and journalists. Presentations will be streamed online from the USC Annenberg School for Communication.

Each of the five presenting projects will receive $2,000. The project presentations will be posted online after the summit, and the 500 members of the National Arts Journalism Program (NAJP) and the 300 alumni of the NEA Arts Journalism Institutes will be invited to vote on the projects with the most potential. Three prizes will be awarded on the basis of this vote: $7,500 for first; $5,000 for second; and $2,500 for third. Winners will be announced in late October. For more information, including details about the Summit, project eligibility and guidelines, and to submit a project for consideration, please go to .

The deadline for submissions is August 17. Projects must be submitted online, and those chosen for the summit will be announced September 1.

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The National Summit on Arts Journalism will take place Friday, October 2, 2009, in the Annenberg Auditorium at USC Annenberg School for Communication. More details about the day’s schedule and web streaming will be available online at in mid-August.

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The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California was founded in 1971 with generous support from Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg. Its strategic location in Los Angeles at USC enables it to foster dynamic synergies and multidisciplinary approaches to the study of communication and journalism through unparalleled access to the nation’s and the world’s entertainment, media and technology industries. In 1994, two of USC’s related academic departments – Communication Arts & Sciences and Journalism – merged with the Annenberg School, creating two distinct academic units within USC Annenberg: the School of Communication and the School of Journalism. Today, with more than 70 full-time faculty members, more than 1,900 undergraduate and graduate students, and dozens of research and public interest projects and programs, , including the M.A. degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts), the Norman Lear Center and the Knight Digital Media Center, USC Annenberg has become a center for discussion among scholars and professionals in journalism, communication, public policy, media, and education.

Since 1994, the NAJP has sought to advance arts and cultural news coverage. The National Arts Journalism Program is a membership organization that works to: advocate for arts reporting and criticism, improve the quality and increase the quantity of arts journalism, inform the public and the media industry of standards of excellence in arts journalism, support and mentor arts journalists, provide a network for arts journalists in all disciplines, and help develop standards and viable economic models for arts journalism in emerging digital media.

The NEA Arts Journalism Institutes are a series of intensive, introductory professional training programs for journalists who cover dance, theater and musical theater, classical music and opera, and visual art. To date, more than 250 journalists from all 50 states — representing print and broadcast organizations, as well as independent writers — have participated in the program, which has received universal acclaim from participants, faculty, and arts organizations.