Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Bill Goodykoontz, the film critic for The Arizona Republic, as well as Gannett. Bill can also be heard on various radio shows around the Valley from time-to-time – including sports talk.
It’s been a pretty busy couple weeks for Bill as he’s had a heavy workload surrounding last week’s Academy Awards. For the record, he thinks “The Descendants” was a better film than “The Artist,” but he’s okay with “The Artist” winning Best Picture. He also thinks the Oscar broadcast, hosted by Billy Crystal, was stunningly bad.
What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?
In addition to being the film critic for The Arizona Republic, I’m also the chief critic for Gannett, the biggest newspaper company in the country, which owns The Republic and about 100 other papers. That means I sometimes get emails from places like Cincinnati or somewhere else around the country, which is kind of fun. Less fun when they write to complain about a review I’ve written, but fun, still.
Actually, that’s not true. It’s the most fun when people call or write to talk about a review I’ve written, whether they agree or disagree.
There are things about my job that are not as great as people might think – you do have to see the bad movies too, after all, and you pretty much have to see everything that comes out. Sometimes after five or six movies in a week, you get a little fried.
But anyone who complains about how hard a job like this is should get a punch in the throat. One of the best things about going to a movie you really like (or really hate) is that feeling you have when you walk out of it and want to tell everyone what you thought. I get to do that for every movie I see, and that’s really exciting. I’m the youngest of five children, so I didn’t exactly grow up with anyone clamoring for my opinion. It’s a nice change.
I grew up in Radford, Va., and went to James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, Va. I wasn’t a journalism major, but an English major. I figured if someone could teach me how to write, I could sort of retrofit the journalism part. (This was more difficult that I imagined.) In North Carolina and Arizona I’ve been a cop reporter, a government reporter, a features columnist, a sports columnist, a TV critic, an editor and now a movie critic.
I’m old enough that for my first internship we used typewriters; now I sometimes write reviews and columns on my iPhone. You won’t hear me complaining about online media. I am a huge fan.payday loan I love the immediacy and the excitement of it – in some ways that goes back to wanting to tell all your friends what you know as soon as you learn it.
Complaints that social media and online journalism can be shallow, pandering to the lowest-common denominator (Lindsay Lohan did what????) are sometimes valid, but there are still great stories being told, and in many more ways than when I started. Shallow journalism is not the fault of the tools, but of the people who practice it. It’s up to us to ensure that standards are maintained.
Social media has also opened up an unexpected avenue for my family. My wife and I live in Chandler and have four children, and seemingly daily at least one of them will say something really ridiculous. I post these on Facebook and Twitter, and their comments have developed quite a following; whenever someone talks to me at a movie theater or an event, they will invariably bring up something my 9-year-old said about life. That’s more satisfying than when they want to talk about movies.
I also have a cartoon called “GoodFences” that I do with my friend Steve Tansley, an incredibly talented artist and designer. It’s about two guys who are neighbors, who meet at the fence to discuss all the crazy things going on in their lives. Steve and I used to be neighbors, and we both have big families, so we have plenty of material. You can read it at www.goodfences.com.