ZIMPAPERS Group CEO, Pikirayi Deketeke, reckons the crop of current arts journalists tends to focus more on pop culture ignoring real issues in the creative sector.
Deketeke, who started off as an arts reporter, challenged arts journalists to broaden their scope by reporting and analysing other genres like visual arts, whose products have multiple interpretations.
He made the call in his address during the Arts Reportage, Critical Reviews, and Institutional Critiques workshop for journalists held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe yesterday.
“You must start fighting for space in your newsrooms to have an artistic movement.
“In our newsrooms, I see that there is a deficiency in art critiques,” he said.
Deketeke believes critical arts reportage can change the face of the creative sector and economy.
“Talk about the things that we see and write about those things,” said Deketeke.
Speaking at the same event, researcher and journalist, NyanzombeNyamuyupenza, who recently won a gong at the 21st National Arts Merit Awards, urged arts reporters to be firm and bold.
He said most arts journalists lacked the courage to critique certain personalities in the creative sector.
“Most journalists are afraid to judge the art; we don’t have critical analysis about the art since we are afraid to be wrong.
“You document these things for posterity, writing about art is not only about describing events,” he said.
Nyanzombe said a good interpretation of artworks is needed for the appreciation of arts reportage.
He noted that there were many perspectives when interpreting artworks in fine art.
Meanwhile, NGZ curator, Fadzai Muchemwa, highlighted some of the challenges they were facing to reach out to artists operating in remote areas.
She said they do due diligence before one can be allowed to exhibit their artwork.
“We curate for the communities so we need to understand the overall concept of the artists looking at the artwork,” she said.