To the editors:
Whatever faults might be found with arts coverage in the Chicago news media, I do not detect that they include reliance on snideness and innuendo of the kind indulged in by Lewis Lazare in his account of the Pew Charitable Trusts' grant to Medill to run a new program of fellowships for arts journalists at Northwestern and at three other universities around the country (Culture Club, April 16). Alas for this word on an exciting new journalistic and arts initiative, I made the mistake of declining, on the basis of inadequate homework, to lend myself to Mr. Lazare's parochial agenda of using the occasion to damn arts coverage in the Chicago news media, thereby, evidently, annoying him.
Michael C. Janeway
Medill School of Journalism
Lewis Lazare replies:
Michael Janeway is right about one thing. He is indeed guilty of inadequate homework in a subject area--arts reporting--in which he now oversees a national program aimed at improving the breadth and quality of arts coverage.
For the average layman this would not be such a grave offense, but for the dean of one of the nation's leading journalism schools, I find it sad and inexcusable.