A quantitative analysis of theater criticism in four American newspapers.
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Orand, Amber Werley.
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The researcher systematically sampled 144 issues of four major American newspapers from reference points over the last three decades and conducted a quantitative analysis of theater reviews to determine whether the amount of theater criticism has changed as the newspaper industry has declined. Instead of an across-the-board change over time, however, the trends were observed to vary by newspaper, while the overall quantity of theater criticism in the observed newspapers has actually increased. Yet, other aspects of the results, such as a decline in staff critics and an increase in reliance upon freelancers, indicate that theater criticism is becoming less valued in American newspaper journalism. More research is needed to suss out further quantitative and qualitative trends in journalistic theater criticism. Meanwhile, the Internet and Web logs offer viable avenues for theater criticism if it loses ground in journalism.