Guardian ends blog deal with Lyn Gardner
Journalist and critic Lyn Gardner’s contract to write 150 theatre blogs for the Guardian has been cancelled.
While Gardner will continue to write features and reviews, the Guardian will no longer publish her regular blogs which cover grassroots theatre and explore issues such as diversity and funding.
Many have taken to Twitter to express their sadness at the news, calling it a “massive loss” to arts journalism.
Gardner, who has written the blogs since about 2008, said she is the latest casualty in a series of journalism cuts.
She said: “My blogs amounted to about 130,000 words about theatre, and that platform is now gone. I don’t think it is personal, it is to do with the fact that the Guardian is in a dire situation and our future is in peril.
“Many people in the arts value the Guardian but if they want us to continue then they also have to support the Guardian.”
She added: “I have tried to be a midwife and not a gatekeeper with my blogs, and the blog has allowed me to support the theatre ecology at all levels.
“I have written about funding, how theatre operates, diversity, and tried to reflect the vibrancy and broad range of activity that takes place in theatre. I have been quite tearful and immensely touched by the reaction on Twitter, it is a momentous feeling to know that you are valued.”
Gardner said other theatre bloggers would step up and continue the conversation.
She added: “There are more people now writing about theatre than when I first started out, when there were about 20 in the country, most of whom were men.
“This is great because it means theatre is seen as something that is seen as crucial and part of everyday life.”
Industry voices have reacted on Twitter, with playwright Simon Stephens praising Gardner’s blog as a “rare corner of real thought about our art form”.
The @guardian Lyn Gardner blog has been a rare corner of real thought about our art form. To lose it and her intelligence is a massive loss.
— simon stephens (@StephensSimon) March 13, 2017
Artistic director at the Orange Tree Theatre Paul Miller said it was a “bad call” to cut the blogs, with his tweet retweeted by Harry Potter actress Noma Dumezweni.
— Paul Miller (@pmiller67) March 13, 2017
The Guardian did not respond to a request for comment.