Thursday, 28 January 2010

St Albans cinema cash shortfall Herts Advertiser 28 January 2010

Local residents have probably by now seen the pessimistic and scaremongering front page story in today’s Herts Advertiser, about how the Rex bid to raise £1 million to buy the Odeon has only reached £100,00 in hard cash, with two weeks to go to exchanging contracts.

Why oh why don’t people realise that ‘campaigning’ often means parting with money i.e. writing a cheque for a substantial sum; there usually comes a point where yet more hot air and a well intentioned fiver don't cut it.

It would be nice to see the Herts Ad and Archant Regional, its parent group, part with a few thousand for the Odeon, an issue which they’ve used so frequently recently to bolster local interest in their paper. Similarly St Albans Civic Society could do something constructive …maybe a sponsored chair or a loan.

You can’t have it both ways, guys – you can’t undermine a rescue attempt you haven’t really tried to help.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Paxton,
    I was surprised to read your comments regarding the cinema, and more so your claims that what is a fair and balanced article, raising awareness of the need for backers to come forwards with their donations, is in anyway pessimistic and scaremongering.
    I would have thought the efforts made by both the Herts Advertiser and the Civic Society in raising awareness of the cinema campaign should have been welcomed, rather than cynically condemned as a means of generating publicity for our own organisations.
    As a newspaper, we have to remain impartial to retain editorial integrity, therefore we do not expect, or encourage even, reporters to get personally involved in causes. If there is a genuine personal interest, that's OK, but I would not pressure my staff to put their hands in their pockets to support any campaign the newspaper was backing.
    Unfortunately, causes which get saved are saved largely because enough people rallied around it, usually because of the publicity generated, and not because the media presented it with financial aid.
    If we were to provide financial support for what is effectively a commercial venture like the cinema, would there not then be a demand for us to back other similar projects?
    I stress again that the cinema project is a commercial venture, which will eventually generate revenue for Mr Hannaway and his investors. Whilst the Herts Advertiser welcomes the need for a new cinema in St Albans, and supports the efforts being made to bring this about, we are here to publicise the campaign and raise awareness of its aims, rather than providing financial support ourselves.
    Matt Adams