The Cuban Press Day is the perfect reason to think about the challenges of one of the most necessary expressions in journalism.
We do cultural journalism in Cuba. We do a reliable, excellent journalism. We have several skillful professionals.
Nonetheless, we believe we have more challenges ahead than achievements. Besides, it is important to inform, promote, and guide the public on the existing options. And we do so in Cuba. But we do not do it sometimes by following the artist hierarchy established beforehand, tough not fixed at all.
Let’s give a round of applause to Cuba’s Ministry of Culture as it is doing its best to strengthen the dialogue among media, journalists, and cultural institutions. However, there still exist certain handicaps that hinder some media coverage. To say it crystal-clearly: some artists and musical bands still try to decide what is being said about them in the media. And that is not the idea. The journalist has a responsibility, a mission.
The truth is there are journalists who do not understand this fact yet and become mere promoters.
The questioning approach is not exclusive to interpretative journalism. The fact of choosing among the several options must imply an appraisal exercise. The journalist is an intermediary, but a creative one.
Hence, the importance of formation and permanent professional improvement. The journalism major would not offer all the necessary tools to carry out cultural journalism. Graduates cannot stand idle and wait for a miracle. Graduates must find their own experiences, courses, postgraduate courses, and master degrees.
We must read a lot. We must go to concerts, theater and dance performances, and exhibitions. No university will do it for us. The university may show us the path, but the path is meant to be walked by the professional. There are still journalists covering art and literature who lack information, tools, and elemental skills.
To give a critical approach to art and literature is not exactly journalism. No one can claim that all journalists are art critics especially if such critical reviews can be made from other professional areas. But the truth is that we need more of those reviews in the media.
It has been said so many times that when it rains, it pours. And this is not only the responsibility of journalists and critics, but also decision-makers’. We need more critical approaches but we also need the space to practice it. This issue is paramount since critic impacts on the public’s opinion, beyond its influence on the creation as such.
One of the cultural journalism’s main priorities is undoubtedly the formation of an open, well-informed, capable, and active public.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz // CubaSi Translation Staff