John Whittum: Coverage lacking
December 17, 2006
The Steamboat Springs Orchestra’s extraordinary performance last weekend went by unrecognized (and unnoticed, except in its Happenings and 4 Points) by the Steamboat Pilot & Today. John Sant’Ambrogio’s rendition of the Saint-Saens cello concerto, played on his highly resonant and deeply vibrant 18th-century instrument, seemed to strongly affect and excite an audience that had packed the Steamboat Christian Center.
Ernst Richardson’s conducting was equally superlative – exacting and crisp in direction, he also led the orchestra through the challenging score of Beethoven’s First Symphony.
The Steamboat Community Players’ exciting production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” last month also went unreviewed by our local newspaper (although it was given a promotional piece in Four Points).
Like the musicians, the cast and crew of the Players are locally talented enthusiasts who have practiced and rehearsed innumerable hours before production dates. These people represent the heart and soul of our local performing arts community. Few towns of less than 10,000 people possess anything like the musical and dramatic genius that is present in Steamboat Springs.
How is it that our local newspaper will devote countless columns of space-filling stories of little local interest and yet neglect what makes our community so artistically alive? How often are we presented with inane and irrelevant articles? (Does anyone in our town want to read about the difficulties of commuting to community colleges in Florida?)
The Pilot & Today may cover local politics and sports fairly well, but it seems to take little interest in local arts. There was a time when the paper did take such an interest. I can remember well-written reviews (some authored by Tom Ross) of local high school dramatic productions. What accounts for the newspaper’s present indifference? Money? Would it cost so much to send a reporter to cover local artistic productions? Talent? Can the paper not find sufficient expertise to write knowledgeable, articulate reviews that would recognize our efforts?
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Pilot & Today editors may take some pride on having established a newspaper community where we citizens are dependent on its pages. I would suggest, however, that they could take greater pride if they truly provided us with a community newspaper.