Tag Archives: Lay of the Land

Passing the Torch

The music journalists in yesterday’s Think Local Write Global panel at LMU covered a range of media: daily newspaper, radio, blog, social media. They were experts in K-pop, hip-hop, mariachi, feminist punk, and Touareg. What they had in common is they’re based in LA, and inspired by the multitudinous, er, lay of the land in this city. It was the annual installment of the Syntext/Creative Writing program’s LAy of the LAnd symposium, after all.

As curator and co-moderator (with Ruben Martinez), I appreciated the respect Betto Arcos, Oliver Wang, Lorraine Ali, Drew Tewksbury, Allison Wolfe, and Rebecca Haithcoat showed each other — and also their willingness to openly disagree. When Ali and Wang faced off on the issue of whether critics are still critics if they only write positive things — the freelancer said yes, the music editor said no — it was a great learning moment for my journalism students in the crowd. I worried, for a brief time, that all the talk of diminishing expectations, financially and aesthetically, was going to bum the next generation out. But the writers rallied for a sincerely optimistic closing, telling the students that a change is surely coming — and they are poised to be the leaders.

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KXLU at Noon: Music Criticism

Ruben Martinez and I will be on KXLU today at noon, talking about the 4:30 LAy of the LAnd symposium, Think Local, Write Global: The L.A. Music Critic in the 21st Century.

LAy of the LAnd Flyer copy

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Lay of the Land

On Tuesday I moderated with my esteemed colleague Ruben Martinez the annual Lay of the Land panel at Loyola Marymount. Ruben, who presents this event, invited me to join him this year as the topic was new media; we dubbed the event The Wired City: Writing the Future of Los Angeles. Our panelists were a diverse group of Angeleno bloggers and new-media gurus: KCET’S Departures producer Juan Devis, Loteria Chicana blogger Cindy Mosqueda, LA Observed‘s Kevin Roderick, and LMU student Kyle DePinna of Shifty Rhythms. While they range from grad-student personal bloggers to public media journalists, they all discussed the opportunities the online world has afforded them. It was interesting and encouraging. Thanks to all for participating. Here’s Kevin’s post on the event.

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