Programme Problems

Published on 30th December 2022
Author Mythman

I had intended to have already wrapped up 2022 here and I had already wished everyone all the best for their festive period, but when content drops into your lap, you simply have to get it out there.

However, we start off on a sad note with the news of the passing of long time Bandits supporter Eddie Martin, who passed away recently. Eddie was the grandfather of Academy rider Caydin Martin and photographer Nia Martin, both of whom are regulars at Shielfield Park alongside their father Graham.

Eddie was also a big supporter of mine and a regular reader of these features and I know he will be truly missed by all of his friends and family and my thoughts are with them at this sad and difficult time.

Eddie, this one is for you.

As we find ourselves in that strange period between Christmas and New Year where every day is a Sunday I happened to see the Speedway Star on the shelf in Tesco (other supermarkets are available) and noticed it was the issue where the matchday programmes were reviewed. “Belter” I thought, that is always an issue I look forward to reading and it also happened to feature the “Winners and Losers” of 2022 which again, is always worth a read.

Now you probably don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why I like to read about the programmes and such like, it is obviously something I have contributed towards and I appreciate the hard work that goes into putting it together. Our good pals the Edinburgh Monarchs picked up the programme of the year award and I must say, that was fully deserved and they always put out a quality magazine packed full of features.

I simply couldn’t disagree with anything that was said about the Edinburgh programme but when it came to our own one, I had to take exception with some of what was said.

Now I understand that these are the opinions of two guys who review the programmes every year, but I couldn’t help but feel that some of their justification was more filling a page and nit-picking, rather than looking at the content subjectively.

On the Bandits edition there were no real problem areas, with only captioning and paragraphing could have been better. Fair enough, that is constructive criticism with which I take no issue. However, in the comments Paul Rickett states “First off, I don’t like the title of The Dirt.” He then states that it is a good all round production with a nice design and good content which is good feedback I’m sure you’ll agree.

But why mention you don’t like the title? What difference does that make to the content?

The other reviewer Howard Jones was much less favourable in his feedback citing that he wasn’t a fan of it at all, the pages were too dark and he didn’t like the cover. Okay so you didn’t like it, but no mention of any of the features, surely which is the most important elements of the while thing.

The Bullets version wasn’t looked on much more favourably either however, Paul Rickett did offer some good feedback again saying that it was a good NDL offering packed with content but that the black background on photos wasn’t something he liked. Okay, so overall he liked it and some more constructive criticism was thrown in there although, I feel that is more an opinion than anything else.

But our man Howard Jones was much less glowing with his report in which he states “Personally, I have an issue with the club nickname, particularly in these difficult times but that has nothing to do with the programme. A decent publication for this level but sadly it doesn’t do it for me.”

Firstly, what about it specifically don’t you like because you don’t mention it?

Secondly, if you don’t like the club nickname but it is nothing to do with the programme, why mention it?

I understand the reference but if you want to use the “in these difficult times” jab, it hasn’t exactly been a great year for all things royal like Monarchs for example, but nobody complains about Edinburgh’s nickname, nor did it affect their marks.

Are Cheetahs, Tigers, Lions and Panthers upset about all the other big cats chasing after them? I doubt it. Surely times are pretty difficult for them in the wild too.  It just seems like a nonsensical thing to say, especially when it is nothing to do with the programme itself.

Now, before anyone suggest it, I’m not having a rant because we didn’t win programme of the year and I’m not butt hurt about not being honoured for best feature within it, I know my column isn’t the best in it. Hell, I’m not even remotely qualified to be writing in a magazine or here so I count myself lucky! None of this is done for any sort of accolade or adulation, it is a labour of love for many and a culmination of a lot of pieces to a puzzle coming together for the love of one common denominator.

But it annoys me that these guys look at one issue and, in some instances, literally judge a book by its cover and criticise it for the sake of filling out a page in the Star, rather than looking at the programmes for what they are and the hard work that goes into them.

Let me state once again that the Edinburgh Monarchs programme certainly ranked up there with the best of the, in 2022 and it is fully deserving of the accolade of programme of the year.

I personally would like to see a fresh approach on the judging of the programmes with a little less nit-picking and criticism for criticism’s sake.

That is it from me in 2022, thank you all for the support and reading these columns over the last year and may 2023 be a prosperous one for you all.

Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply wish to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me or get in touch via the JB Speedway Media Facebook page. If your compliments, or indeed gripes can be contained to limited characters you can tweet @Mythman666.

Until next time…and there will be a next time.

Right, I’ll hae’tae gan.



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