Before film critics get apoplectic about this news, remember, it says more about the state of print media than anything else. The Daily Democrat based out of Woodland, CA is offering anyone and everyone the chance to publish film reviews in their paper. The best part? They “won’t charge you to run your reviews.” That’s where we are at the state of film criticism right now. Newspapers not only won’t pay you for your work, but they’ll ALSO not charge you for the privilege of publishing your review.
Entertainment Weekly drew a lot of heat earlier this year when they released Owen Gleiberman and said that film critics would now be paid with “prestige” in return for their work. As bad as that news was, this is almost offensively worse. Digital First, the parent company behind The Daily Democrat, doesn’t care about the quality of the content they are releasing, just as long as it is content.
Focus on film criticism and movie reviews has largely fallen off of print news in the last several years, and no one is surprised that publishers are looking for free work wherever they can get it, but this speaks poorly to journalistic standards. I hope The Daily Democrat is happy with the financial bottom-line for their arts and entertainment section, but readers will have to settle for Aunt Linda complaining about why Adam Driver won’t cut his hair in that movie that came out this week. She thinks it might be called I Left You Where.