Bloggers vs. Professional Critics

If you’ve ever wondered what professional critics think of bloggers, you should tune into this excellent article at The Guardian The Observer (but reprinted at The Guardian). It opens up with a lengthy article about the apparent necessity of professional critics for book reviews, and catalogues a recent controversy between a particular English author and some negative reviews she got on Amazon. After that, however, it does go into some very interesting thoughts from professionals within the theater, music and film communities about their opinions about critics and bloggers.

After you read it you can’t help but think that some of these opinions tend to be rather elite-ish in their tone, and I certainly haven’t looked into whether or not, for example, the London theatre scene has any sort of blogging following at all. But, much like gawker-izing of techculture, and the perezhiltonizing of pop culture, I think its only a matter of time before blogging hits more erudite past times. Its good to see that some of the individuals in the post recognize this truth — but they don’t all need to succumb to the insecurity of it all — after all, all they need to do is join the blogging crowd and develop their own audience online.

And I would argue that as professional critics, they’d have a built in following — and a higher chance at built in success.

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  1. says

    I don’t think it matters whether one is a “professional” or a “blogger” (can’t someone be both?).

    What matters is whether or not they can write a good review. For example, I’ve discovered that my attempts to write reviews are quite crappy. Hence, I don’t pretend that I’m good at it, and don’t write reviews.

    Reviews are just like anything else on a blog… there’s some gems, and there’s some crap.


  1. […] As Tony Hung points out, the piece gets rather elitist by the end, although I have to like this description of Nick Hornby, a great writer and careful reviewer: “[H]is words are measured, rather than spewed, out; because he is a good critic, and an experienced one; and because he can write.” Measured vs spewed is a good way of putting it. It’s also a good way of thinking about the two very different beasts we’re talking about here. […]