The New York Times has announced that senior editor Lorne Manly will lead a new program to recruit, edit and publish criticism from writers from underrepresented backgrounds who have little to no experience contributing to the Culture section of The Times. The one-year program, funded by Critical Minded, aims to build rapport between Times editors and new voices in cultural criticism so that those critics are called on more regularly to contribute to national publications.
“I’m truly excited about the opportunity to help rising critics develop their voices and flourish in their writing for a global audience,” said Manly.
In his more than 20 years at The Times, Manly has served in a variety of roles. Most recently, he was a senior editor for special projects, where he edited reviews and essays by Times critics and shepherded cross-desk collaborations. Among his many previous positions, Lorne has been a deputy Culture editor, and a film, TV and video games editor.
“Lorne is an excellent editor with vast experience editing criticism from both rising and well-established writers across all the arts we cover,” said Sia Michel, Times Culture editor. “His enthusiasm and deep knowledge will be an asset to critics looking to break into The Times.”
Culture critics help people understand the world through art, but the decline of local news has left them with fewer opportunities to do so. This program aims to help remedy that trend by leveraging the knowledge and experience of The Times’ Culture desk to help build a diverse new generation of culture critics eager to interrogate, explain and celebrate artistic works across the nation.
We are grateful to the Times and its commitment to identifying and developing brilliant new voices in cultural criticism,” said Rashid Shabazz, executive director of Critical Minded. “As a result of this work, we hope other outlets will follow suit with initiatives that broaden our contemporary conversation and ensure greater economic and professional opportunities for critics of color.”
Freelancers interested in learning more about this program should contact Lorne Manly, senior editor. Philanthropies interested in learning more about this program should contact Marcia Parker, vice president of Philanthropy.
About Critical Minded:
Critical Minded, a fiscally sponsored project of Allied Media Projects, is a grantmaking and learning initiative that supports cultural critics of color in the United States. Founded in 2017 by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and Ford Foundation, the collective emerged from the belief that engaging critically with ideas and images is a prerequisite for transforming the cultural landscape and preserving democracy.
Critical Minded prioritizes the four following initiatives: 1) Individual critics of color and BIPOC-led publishers are more resilient and create economic and professional development opportunities for cultural critics of color; 2) Increase media presence for and amplification of cultural critics of color to influence and shift public discourse and popular narratives; 3) Facilitate greater access and resources for cultural critics of color within “mainstream” and independent publications; 4) Publish and disseminate research and case studies documenting the role cultural critics of color play as essential contributors to a thriving cultural sector and inclusive democracy by advancing racial justice, publications and platforms. These initiatives directly address the lack of representation among critics of color in media outlets.
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