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Subject: Re: New York Times article on Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin
From: Marc Shepherd <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Marc Shepherd <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 1 Mar 2018 14:41:38 -0500

text/plain (43 lines)

Whether you liked this piece or not, it helps to be acquainted with basic
facts. The author, Michael Cooper, has been a Times reporter for almost 23
years, and has over 3,700 bylines to his credit. He is not a stringer. By
design and intention, overview pieces like this are not meant to be
criticism, which is what critics do, not reporters. I think you’d find that
such pieces aren’t a recent innovation—the paper always had them.

It is true that the paper has cut down on the number of critics it employs,
which means there are fewer reviews. This, of course, is a direct result of
declining interest in classical music over a period of many decades. I
would not call that “despicable.” The Times is a business, not a charity
shop. As readers’ tastes change, they must change too.

On Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 2:03 PM, Mark Bednar <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Conversely, it is a continuing sign that the NYTimes is cutting back on
> critical writing.
> I enjoyed the gossipy behind-the-scenes story as much as anyone. But it is
> an assignment for a stringer who does not have to have any critical
> insight. Similarly, the NYT has been running a lot of interviews, also
> assignments that can be delegated to stringers. These are all fluff.
> With all the musical activity that goes on in New York it is despicable
> that the Times can only publish two or three reviews a week (again,
> whatever you may think of their critical staff) of serious music.

Marc Shepherd
New York, NY

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