by Sarah Bryan Miller of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on an online piece by Michael Kaiser, "The Death of Professional Criticism."
I think Kaiser's most significant point here is the fact that professional critics have been vetted - and are, in fact, continously vetted while being held to professional and ethical standards. Most bloggers are not.
Everyone's a critic, but not everyone has to support their opinions in the way that professionals do. Until some better, more complete means to judge amateur bloggers emerges, the arts will still need dedicated professional critics.
While I have had my differences with one critic or another, I have great respect for the field as a whole. Most serious arts critics know a great deal about the field they cover and can evaluate a given work or production based on many years of serious study and experience. These critics have been vetted by their employers.
Anyone can write a blog or leave a review in a chat room. The fact that someone writes about theater or ballet or music does not mean they have expert judgment.