Please see the email below!
THANK YOU for all your support! We’ve done it! Theatre Bath working with the Bath Chronicle has resolved the situation by working together and finding new reviewers. Thanks to the Chronicle team for listening to us and helping us resolve this situation.
As I hinted to you last night, we are now in a position to outline our plans for the reintroduction of reviews in The Bath Chronicle.
The meeting that you so kindly organised and the efforts and information exchange which followed have overcome two of the key problems which led to the decision to suspend in-paper reviews: their cost and the apparent lack of available reviewers.
Our policy going forward will be to:
- Include as many amateur dramatic and music event reviews as we can in the paper, and online.
- Set aside space every week for reviews, such that we will carry at least as many reviews as we had been until this summer, and almost certainly more. If we review a production, the review will appear in print whether or not the show has finished.
- We will prioritise the work of local groups to validate and reflect the efforts of the arts community on our doorstep. This may mean that we don’t always have room for some one-off music concert reviews involving artists from outside the city.
- Look at each week’s amateur dramatic calendar and arrange for reviews accordingly. This may mean that some weeks we carry none, because nothing is going on, while at other, much busier, times we may have half a dozen or more.
- We will carry on reviewing Theatre Royal productions.
- We will not pay for reviews.
Christopher has begun upping the ante in recent days on the website, and will start using in-print reviews again from next week’s paper.
I don’t think we need to get involved in a numbers game about pages. What I can say is that we will devote at least as much space to reviews as we did before the summer, and that we will organise our pagination to reflect the content we need to accommodate – as we do across the news, entertainment and sport piste week in, week out.
On the subject of paying reviewers, we might be happy to consider this if grant funding could be obtained, as some people have suggested might be possible.
In the long term, we would be interested in exploring whether there was any way of including a paper sale in ticket prices, but we acknowledge this is a complex subject and one very much for the future.
We are very much hoping that our new army of reviewers will be willing and able to help us move forward. If there is any guidance or training that they need aside from the Engage sessions, please let me know.
I hope that answers all your questions and that everyone involved – ourselves included – can emerge with a sense of satisfaction.
Once again, thank you for all the time and effort you have devoted to this matter.
Obviously, feel free to distribute these thoughts widely.
Deputy editor/head of news
The Bath Chronicle
Westpoint, James Street West, Bath, BA1 2DA