Archive: Issue No. 87, November 2004

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ThisDay is all but closed and going with it is a strong weekly arts review
by Kresta Tyler Johnson

As a national publication, the newspaper ThisDay had raised the level of journalism available in South Africa and also maintained a remarkable focus on local arts and culture. While the publication has been plagued by financial problems from its outset, I think many hoped this venture would become viable.

The daily paper made a concerted effort to promote current events in the arts that culminated in a review published every Friday. As an insert, this could not compete with the Mail&Guardian but it had its own value. The 'Review Arts' provided a comprehensive look at theatre, visual arts, film, music and television and was an alternative source of cultural information.

Another strength of the paper was the numerous journalists either employed by or affiliated with the paper, including many young black writers. Sometime ArtThrob contributor Lloyd Pollak was frequently to be found there with his wide-ranging and wittily astute articles that demonstrated that arts criticism of an international standard can still be found on these shores.

Any time a publication perishes, it is a shame, but this one in particular leaves a void.