[UPDATED] Museum directors want Los Angeles Times to restore the arts reporter position

From a Change.org petition:

lat

The directors of several museums in the Los Angeles area have asked the Los Angeles Times to reinstate its arts reporter position after laying off Jori Finkel in the recent downsizing.

Finkel

Finkel

“It is especially unfortunate to see you dismiss your only staff reporter specializing in art now that Los Angeles is increasingly recognized worldwide as the most influential center for contemporary art and culture,” they write. “For instance, just as she was being laid off, the New York Times dedicated nearly three full pages to L.A.’s significance within the international art world. …

“We hope that the L.A. Times restores this important position and better recognizes its responsibility to cover the art and culture that shapes our creative city.”

The Times’ response: “We do not discuss employee relations, but our commitment to intelligent and illuminating reporting of arts and culture in Southern California is in no way diminished.”

Finkel tells the Hollywood Reporter: “This is one of the reasons I like covering art here, which is that it is a community filled with really dynamic people who are not afraid to take a stand, and I was really moved that so many museum directors would organize so quickly to support arts writing in L.A.”

Nearly 1,000 people have signed the petition.

UPDATE: Times editor Davan Maharaj tells the museum bosses:

Please know that our commitment to intelligent and illuminating reporting of the visual arts in Southern California is in no way diminished.davan …[and] we will continue to provide in-depth coverage of exhibitions, acquisitions, leading artists and curators, and other news about the art scene. …We devote more staff resources to the arts than almost any other general news organization in the country. Four reporters and two critics devote a significant portion of their time to art and museum news and reviews.

* Top museum directors protest layoff of arts reporter (hollywoodreporter)
* Los Angeles Times editor: We still have plenty of arts coverage (laobserved.com)
* Petition: Reinstate Los Angeles Times arts reporter position (change.org)

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