“As much as it pains me to say it, I think the rise of the Oscar prognosticators corresponds with the rapid decline of film criticism in the mainstream media. Film critics are being fired left and right these days, and not always replaced, for a variety of reasons: because the old guard costs too much, because bad reviews irritate the show-business folk who spend money on newspaper ads, and because the general readership is often more interested in puff pieces about movie stars than raves for snail-paced Taiwanese films.
“Plus, there’s a sense that the blogger revolution has rendered professional film criticism irrelevant. When everyone has an opinion and a forum to express it, why pay some egg-headed film-studies grad a reporter’s salary to provide content that isn’t exactly unique? At the moment, the OPs are unique, or at least they’ve convinced enough newspaper editors that they are. The big media outlets have been adding Oscar columns and blogs almost at the same rate that they’ve been cutting back on critics. It’s a scary trend — replacing overt opinion-writing with covert opinion-writing, passed off as objective reporting.” — A.V. Club’s Noel Murray in a back-and-forth dialogue piece titled “Are Oscar prognosticators Evil;?”