Thursday, 12 May 2016

Unpaid bloggers can't write? We beg to differ, Danielle Tarento!

There's a news article in The Stage which has made my blood boil. I'm livid, I tell you, Livid.

A woman by the name of Danielle Tarento has criticised the quality of reviews being produced by online bloggers, claiming many are not “proper writers”.

Speaking at an event called Everyone’s a Critic, Tarento said most blog theatre reviews had been reduced to “soundbites and stars”.

She added: “This is a massive generalisation, but a lot of people are not ‘proper writers’. They do not have the intellectual background or historical background or time to know what they are writing about. What they are writing about is did they like it or not, which is not what I think a review should be.”

Well, Danielle Tarento might like to rethink her opinion and read some of the absolutely superb, first class theatre reviews from our team of bloggers.  Yes, we are unpaid but we are all "proper writers" and intellectual too. 

Here are the two most recent theatre reviews from very many wonderful, well-written, insightful theatre reviews from our team.
  • Our blogger Jordan was invited to the press night of Iris, a play starring Katy Cavanagh. Read it here.
  • Our blogger Stevie Dawson went along to the press night of Endgame at Home Manchester. The play starred Corrie favourites David Neilson (Roy Cropper) and Chris Gascoyne (Peter Barlow). Read Stevie's review here.
If Danielle Tarento thinks she's got what it takes, let's have her writing a Corrie episode review for the Blog. £25 goes to the charity of her choice if she takes us up on this offer.

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9 comments:

Flo said...

Wow. What a piece of crap. Makes me want to hurl things at the computer screen. Considering the large number of so-called "professional" journalists that don't have a clue in how to write or research, I think it's a pretty rude commentary. I've seen some pretty sophomoric efforts from people getting paid to write. I don't buy what she is saying for a minute.

Another thing she doesn't realize is that many bloggers who don't use 100% perfect grammar are frequently writing in what is called a "conversational" manner. It's like they are talking to a friend, they want to draw the reader in. As far as content accuracy, sometimes people who are passionate about something don't always have absolute proof or research to back up their information. But that is up to us, the reader, to determine. Is she trying to say that all professional paid writers are 100% accurate? If she is, I strongly disagree!

Cobblestone said...

I fairness, she did say it was a huge generalisation and there is some truth to the point she was making. Just because there are some exceptionally good bloggers out there (and we're very lucky to have such first-rate ones on Corrie Blog) doesn't mean there aren't a lot of people spewing I'll-written dross into the Blogosphere as well. For too long, traditional publishers have stood as self-appointed gatekeepers, deciding whose voice should be heard and whose not, but the rise of blogging and self-publishing has made it possible for many talented writers to get themselves heard. The downside of that, is that it also gives a platform to a legion of bad writers. Still, cream tends to rise to the top, and bad writers tend not to find a loyal readership, so what's the problem?
It's that Tarento was specifically discussing theatre reviews, which don't depend on a loyal following for the reviewer. People see a show is on, read a review and decide weather to go ... or not. It can make the difference between a show having a good run, or coming off early, with the concomitant loss of employment for cast and crew. That's a weighty responsibility to lie on the shoulders of someone who MAY have very little experience or knowledge of theatre & its conventions. But this is hardly a new problem; before the rise of blogging, local papers, lacking a dedicated theatre reviewer, have for decades sent along the gardening correspondent or the guy who makes up the horoscopes, who happens to be free that evening. So many times, I've been in a production in which one or more members of the cast have given a performance of exceptional emotional & dramatic brilliance, and we've waited eagerly for the local review ... only to be served up a brief name-check (often misspelt), a pedestrian plot synopsis and an entire paragraph on how gorgeous the costumes were. The days of the Jack Tinkers, professional journalists who ate, drank and slept theatres are in decline.
Don't get me wrong, ANYONE has the right to like or dislike a show; but if they're going to write a review, they need the background knowledge to be able to say WHY. So often, that comes naturally with a passion for theatre. Just as our own reviewers passion for all things Coronation Street informs their reviews, as they draw on historical knowledge of the show to make comparisons and draw parallels, and to analyse the effectiveness of storylining, characterisation and dialogue.

Anonymous said...

Traditionally paid critics were bought by studio publicists to write favorable reviews. The whole Hollywood star system is built upon this. If the critic was not out-right bought, he works for a boss, a newspaper or media outlet that has a specific agenda (Rupert Murdoch anyone?). So non-professional sometimes give personal opinions, but they are truthfully their own opinions and not mouthpieces for a corporation or special interest.

This comment was brought to you by Crapco, because we care.

Dolly Tubb said...

Wow! Wonder what Ken Barlow would say?

Personally I think you are all a highly literate, eminently knowledgeable and hugely entertaining bunch. Take no notice of this woman, bet she doesn't even know the difference between an oven bottom and a barm cake.

Anonymous said...

This does not apply here... so move on. She obviously has not visited this site. Always good write-ups...entertaining...and knowledgeable about the subject.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Anon. 12:06. And I am so thankful that our Corrie blog site has such wonderful writers.

maggie muggins said...

I agree with the Corrie blog fans above. I wouldn't take what Danielle Tarento said to heart. I doubt she's ever visited our blog site, and if she did she might well change her tune. I'd love for her to take you up on your offer! :)

Ryan Oxley said...

Social media gives everyone an opinion and a platform to write.
Do we all have to be Dylan Thomas, Shakespeare etc to give a valid and informed opinion?. We do not. The corrie blog in a wonderful platform and a clearly defined example of how incorrect she is. I will be interested to see if she takes up the challenge. A load of elitist waffle id imagine.

Sure Blanche Hunt would have had a witty repost for this kind of caper.
Corrie is peppered with wonderful idioms, for example.

Ive just started a blog,its harder than it looks !! :)

Corrie blog is ace - we all know that.

Anonymous said...

Just remember that she was speaking at an event called Everyone's a Critic... clearly Danielle Tarento takes the term "critic" to heart.

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