What’s killing criticism? The stars…That condemnation of star ratings by Norman Lebrecht appears on Slipped Disc today. Above it is his latest review for Sinfini Music. As you can see, he gives the album a four star rating.
In a former life, as assistant editor of a formerly respected newspaper, I fought hard and successfully against the blight of applying star ratings to reviews of live performances. My argument was that once readers counted the stars they would not bother to read those reviews. Of all my gloomiest predictions, I fear this one has been most fully validated. When I stepped down, the stars took over.
Today, critics whose columns are unadorned by stars stand a chance of getting read down to the very end. The rest must hope for a scandal or a miracle to secure close attention from a general readership.
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