15 August 2009

The Press Can't Hack the Edinburgh Fringe 2009

I like looking at other reviews during the Fringe to see if there is something else that I'm not aware of that's worth catching.  There are good sources of info, Edinburgh-Festivals is one (from The Scotsman) and Chortle is another.  Obviously you have to try and aggregate these reviews to get a truer perspective.  For example the man behind Chortle, Steve Bennett, often gives too few stars (four stars for both Rhod Gilbert and Pajama Men yet says they will probably be up for the top award) whilst one of his newer reviewers, Chloe Smith, gives far too many stars for mediocre performances (Zoe Lyons got four stars).  That said, there are far more untrustworthy sources out there, including one4review which gave Domestic Goodi 2 five stars whilst it's getting poor ratings everywhere else (unsurprisingly the one4review is the one that is plastered over the Pleasance tempting audiences to go and see it).

My beef is really with mainstream or old school media (the ones that are struggling to survive) and their lack of coverage of Edinburgh.  As it stands right now The Independent have 9 comedy reviews from Edinburgh on their website and The Telegraph have 10 (although as Private Eye has revealed, the Telegraph frequently use agency copy for their sports coverage and assigned fake names to it so we can't be sure just how many they have done themselves).  I have 19 reviews to date for the 19 shows I have seen, and I couldn't even expense the cost of my tickets!  Seriously though, whilst this is all about the coverage of Art, it is a sad time as newspapers lose more and more money and the real journalists breaking the big stories get cut back further and further.  Maybe they should just employ bloggers to cover Art and Sport and employ their professionals to do the bread and butter investigative journalism that made newspapers what they are...