Today is a huge catch-up day for me with lots of writing to do, so I'm simply going to introduce a topic that I wish to come back to in other entries:
The model of critic as arts activist or advocate as opposed to the model of critic as detached observer.
Both models have been used in the past by critics of all stripes and the debate continues as to which is better or more "correct." Currently, most newspapers are leaning toward the detachment model saying that critics ought to be as separate as possible with no possible conflicts of interest.
However, that's a model that brings with it its own set of problems.
Personally, I'm far more in favor of the model of critic as arts activist. It is certainly more challenging to act ethically in that role, but it is a far more authentic position that is of greater use to both newspaper and community.
More on this subject later.