Douglas McLennan

Doug is a longtime journalist who writes about journalism, the arts and technology. He's the editor and the founder and editor of ArtsJournal.com and co-founder and editor of Post Alley. He's a frequent keynoter on arts and digital issues, and works and consults for a number of arts and news organizations nationally.

Master of None? “Maestro” is a Tour de Force Movie that Misses the Plot

Though Bernstein certainly fit the image of maestro in the popular imagination and was unquestionably the most famous American conductor of his day, he was oddly something of an artifact himself.

What American Orchestras Could Learn from the South Dakota Symphony

Joe Horowitz has for several years been touting the orchestra and its music director Delta David Geier as an example of what American orchestras should aspire to be. So I went to see.

How We Listen Now: Roomful of Teeth, with Gabriel Kahane & Caroline Shaw @Meany

Composers today are the product of a dizzying array of influences as popular culture has splintered and high art has emerged from its cubbies.

Fighting Yesterday’s Battles over Who Should Pay for Tomorrow’s News

How weird is it that publishers are clamoring to get good placement on the platforms and spending money to do so even as they're screaming that their content is being stolen and demanding the platforms pay them for being featured on their sites?

Traffic Jam: How the Internet Became the Worst of Us

Millions are spent by publishers trying to game the system so that platforms send them readers. When the game’s rules change, as it does from time to time, publishers scramble to figure out the new game.

Rage Against the Machine: Frank Blethen’s Plea for the Seattle Times

Blethen isn’t wrong about the need for regulation, but his idea for a cure to give diminished legacy publications such as his (and specifically locally-owned legacies) special tax and regulatory breaks so they can… do what, slow their decline(?), doesn’t fix the problems.

Review: Illuminating Seattle Opera’s “Thousand Splendid Suns”

A haunting, atmospheric work full of lush evocative music rendered in technicolor orchestrations inflected with Afghanish flourishes. 

If Growth is Essential to Success, What Happens When our Birthrate Declines?

If our markers for success are measured by growth, what happens when our population goes into decline?

In the Age of Information: Still Amusing Ourselves to Death

Neil Postman warns that overwhelming us with news (information) divorced from the ability to act on said information degrades our will and ultimately our ability to act on news we can do something about.

All Music Reconsidered: Two Books to Understand a New Era of Listening

The ability to access any style, any era, any genre and remix at will gives audiences unprecedented power over what they hear and consequently more power to influence our contemporary musical culture and what gets made, played, and why.

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