Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Guardian Gets It Wrong Again

As much as I admire The Guardian, and find it one of the few newspapers still worth reading, lately they have been on a losing streak. First the poorly written piece about British cinema by Andrew Pulver, which I took to task here, and then this provocative piece here written by Ivan Radford.

In it, Radford claims that cinema operators are 'riding the 3D gravy train' by charging an extra £2 for 3D screenings. This apparently is extortionate. He then gets a bunch of his facts wrong, including the price of the digital projectors, the box office revenue of the films he mentions, and he is unable to name the price of the 3D equipment required for cinemas. Well, I can tell you that the 3D polarizer itself is about £10,000, installing a new silver screen another £2,000, and then you need to pay the 3D supplier a percentage of the box office revenue. Add to that the digital projector itself (around £60,000) and the training costs, glasses, and maintenance, and £2 seems like not such a high price to pay.

Thankfully Phil Clapp, head of the Cinema Exhibitor's Association replied here. He breaks it down much better than I can why Radford is wrong, and how audiences, despite the higher price, have embraced 3D.

In addition, they have recently caused controversy by accusing comedian Richard Herring (and frequent Dukes guest) of racism. The row highlights some really poor journalism.

Is this caused by cutbacks in staff, leaving the few contributors they still have free to write unedited by more cautious minds? Or is it just laziness? Either way, it doesn't help the dying print industry to get so much so wrong, so often.


  1. The Guardian has a long, long history of getting things wrong. That's why it's known as the Grauniad.

  2. Yes, but that was because they were notorious for spelling incorrectly. Now they are getting basic facts wrong too. I think Jon is right and it's essentially down to cutting costs - if you have no subs, fact checking etc - all kinds of nonsense gets through...

  3. I'm glad someone has commented on this. I read the article and thought the same.