Sudhiti Naskar begins to write her story. For her, the story still needs to be written; her readers still want it. Yet, this story is a little different due to the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic has changed the way journalists like Naskar write about art.
An alumna of the Reynolds School of Journalism, Naskar is a contributor for Double Scoop, a Nevada based independent online visual arts and communication news outlet. Recently, she started as a contributor for the Sierra Nevada Ally and Reno News & Review
Before starting at Double Scoop, Naskar worked outlets such as the BBC, Wall Street Journal, The National and the Caravan. She has even written a book, “Waves That Shook the World,” which focused on the tsunami that hit India in 2006.
As a contributor for Double Scoop, Naskar was expecting to cover the art community. While she still is, the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the focus of the outlet’s coverage.
“I saw that there was a cultural shift in terms of how people were communicating with one another, over the phone or over video conference calls such as Zoom or Skype,” Naskar said. “People have realized that things are not as they used to be, but it still has to go on. Work still needs to be done; reporters need to report.”
Adjusting to working during the pandemic, Naskar is still writing stories, and the news is still operating, mostly, per usual. Naskar and other journalists have had to change their techniques in order to safely practice social distancing.
“In times like this, I think all of us are trying to reinvent, trying to the work done even though we can’t really get out to do it.”
All communities are being impacted by the spread of the virus, especially the arts community. Museums and galleries, the center of the art community, remain closed. One such museum, the Goldwell Open Air Museum, Naskar recently covered in an article for Double Scoop, “A remote sculpture park adapts to the pandemic.”
“In times like these, like any resilient business, art is not just for good times, it's also for uncertain times,” Naskar said. “Art needs to reinvent, and I felt that it’s a very important story. Maybe it's about art, but it's also about survival and life in general.
In her article, Naskar addresses the changing art community and how it is adapting to COVID-19. Double Scoop, and its contributors, is using its platform to keep its audience updated. The impact of COVID-19 is felt by everyone. To Naskar, it is every outlet’s responsibility to inform its audience.
“News article that has been suggested to me relate to the future of this shift that we are experiencing right now. Not exactly from the COVID-19 point of view but more like a historical point of view,” she said. “Informing people about things, general trends and everything else that they want to know is important, but at the same time, they should be able to get information related to COVID.”
Naskar, who recently graduated with a master’s degree in journalism in the winter 2019 semester, understands the uncertainty of her community, both professional and academic, and she has some advice for making it through uncertain times.
“Stay involved in the community. Networking is very important right now since we don’t have direct access to a lot of people,” Naskar said. “Listen to social conversations online; listen to medical professionals; go online; get involved in groups you are interested in. If you are looking for work, check out online forums; look into different magazines; consider online work.”