Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Ploughing On Regardless

One of my blog readers commented at the weekend that events in Worcester Park (like the free bike checks/repairs as part of 'Walk Cycle Reward') need to be promoted more widely.

I can only agree.

I do my best to plug worthy events on the blog and in the case of last year's Christmas Late Night event teamed up with The Brinkster to produce promotional posters which appeared n shop windows on Central Road and in local schools which I hope, in some small way, helped to spread the word about the event.

So it does make me mad when Worcester Park constantly gets overlooked or ignored. Witness my vain attempts to get decent advanced publicity for the Christmas Late Night event in the local paper.

On the subject of 'Walk, Cycle, Reward', I simply refer to you to Sutton Guardian's coverage of this promotion which is entirely centred on Rosehill.

To make matters worse, the article alludes to the fact that a similar scheme would be launched in Worcester Park 'in coming weeks', ignorant of the fact that the it had already been up and running in Worcester Park and other areas a whole fortnight before this misinformed article went to press.

Perhaps I can be forgiven then for getting irate about this - a 'news article' about The Harvester in Plough Green, Worcester Park seeking a food tasting panel for its restaurant.

Remarkably similar, you might think, to this 'news article' about a chicken taster being sought by the same restaurant back in May.

The more astute of you will have spotted that these are not local news items, simply lazy regurgitation of press releases that The Harvester sent out to [insert name of local paper] seeking free publicity for their restaurant in [insert location of local branch].

But wait, the Sutton Guardian has undertaken extensive investigative journalism and has clearly spoken at length to the manager of the Worcester Park branch of the Harvester who told them:

“We are always looking for feedback on our menus and we feel that by creating a food panel, we will have the perfect forum in which to discuss how we should be changing what we offer to guests.”

Meanwhile the Penarth Times in Wales (also owned by the Newsquest groups) has published an equally hard hitting piece about their local Harvester looking for a tasting panel, quoting the manager of the Penarth branch as saying:

“We are always looking for feedback on our menus and we feel that by creating a food panel, we will have the perfect forum in which to discuss how we should be changing our offer to guests."

Well, what a coincidence.

Yes, I am well aware that local newspapers are commercial enterprises and their bottom line will always be more important than journalistic endeavour.

But it does make me fume when column inches that could be given over to supporting local traders and local events in Worcester Park are instead given instead to regurgitated press releases from national chains masquerading as local news stories.