What the papers should have told you about CTIJF


The most frequent question I’ve heard since returning from the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) last week has been: “Why haven’t we seen any reports on the jazz?”

I’ve been writing about the reasons for a long time.

This is no failure of marketing or PR, but a shameful failure of the media, who have eviscerated serious arts coverage from almost all the platforms where South African music fans seek it. There is little page-space; there are few reporters – and what editors demand from them is “showbiz”. Which tells audiences nothing about the music.

Whatever alleged “trend experts” theorize, readers still enjoy reviews. If they were at the performance, they enjoy testing their opinions against someone else’s. If they weren’t, they can enjoy some vicarious experience – and maybe decide whether it’s worth attending next time.

The blogosphere acknowledges and meets that need. Blog reviews vary hugely in…

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