These columns are usually reserved for singing the praises of the many individuals, as well as theatrical, musical and arts groups, who enrich the cultural life of the Huddersfield area.
But today, as Local Newspaper Week draws to a close, we’re celebrating the Examiner’s own contribution to the arts.
The theme for this year’s event is ‘Making a Difference’ and it’s clear from the response by representatives of all the arts that the Examiner takes some beating for the way it supports everyone from local amateur productions, fledgling artists and rock bands to national touring companies and big names from stage and recording studio.
One of Huddersfield’s best known contemporary artists, Ashley Jackson, can look back on several decades of gracing the pages of the Examiner, along with many other publications, both regional and national.
But it is the Examiner, he says, that matters to him the most. “I always think of the Huddersfield Examiner as a national paper because the quality of the journalism and content is so very good,” he added.
Derek Smith, an actor and director with the Huddersfield Thespians, one of the town’s longest-established theatrical groups, says a preview and review of the company’s latest show is a major player in filling seats, and without our help many amateur companies would struggle to survive.
He also praises our wide-ranging coverage of the arts.
“You do more than write the basics, you go behind the productions and find out what we’re doing, how and why as well as when. You offer a broader picture. It’s something the Examiner does so well,” he explained.
His view is shared wholeheartedly by Norman Mellor, vice-president of Honley Male Voice Choir. He said: “Without a shadow of a doubt coverage by the Examiner helps to sell our concert tickets.
“We have had some smashing results from the Examiner’s stories going back many years. It’s wonderful that the Examiner has such terrific arts coverage and I really appreciate it - people should support the paper because we want that to continue.”
Norman believes one of the reasons for the Examiner’s excellent reputation is the people behind our arts coverage. He’s been around long enough to have worked with former arts editor Ron Massey, who died earlier this year, and Malcolm Cruise, now retired, as well as the current holder of the title, Val Javin. “I’ve had long-standing, very good working relationships with all of them,” he said.
Taru Sinclair, publicity officer for the innovative Marsden-based Mikron Theatre, agrees that Examiner journalists go the extra mile when it comes to covering the arts. “With journalists like Val it feels like we have a connection and that they’re not just dealing with another press release. It’s about that personal touch,” said Taru. “We have always been very well supported by The Examiner and your coverage definitely helps people to understand who we are and what we do.”
The Examiner prides itself on supporting both amateurs and professionals.
As Taru says: “I have worked with youth groups, and small community arts groups and these are given the same sort of coverage as the professional companies.”
As well as our regular weekly arts coverage in WOW The Examiner also covers the town’s major cultural events, from the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Holmfirth Artweek to The Mrs Sunderland Music Festival.
One of the Mrs Sunderland organisers, Jenny Lockwood, who is also President of Huddersfield Choral Society, said: “During the 10 days of the Huddersfield Mrs Sunderland Festival, the reaction of all the children when they read their names, or even better, see their photograph in the “Examiner” is a joy.
“Your paper has always been a vital tool in informing local people of all the arts activity in and around the area.
“I know of no other local press which gives such a high, consistent profile to the Arts. Long may it continue.”
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