When Donald Munro revealed last week he was leaving The Fresno Bee, the arts community let out a collective shocked gasp. Who was going to keep Fresnans informed about theater, opera, and art performances in the area? Was this it for arts coverage, and — worse — local arts itself?
Turns out: nope. Yesterday, Munro announced The Munro Review, his new blog dedicated to “connecting, sharing and valuing the arts in the central San Joaquin Valley.”
In his first post, Munro went into more detail about his decision to leave the Bee (essentially, McClatchy’s decision to significantly cut local arts in favor of clickbait coverage left him no choice but to accept a buyout), as well as his plans for The Munro Review.
While this is welcome news to everyone who values the arts, the disappearance of Munro’s content from our local newspaper is still a huge loss. Although the Bee will continue to cover the arts, it’s clear it won’t receive the care and attention it did under Munro’s tenure.
Heather Parish, executive director of the Rogue Festival, summed up the importance of Munro’s work in her post, Donald Munro’s Contribution to Fresno Theater is Immeasurable – Clicks or No Clicks: “Art is a conversation and arts journalism is one important way that conversation is facilitated.”
Lucky for Fresno, Munro has decided to keep that conversation going.