Internet v's. The British Bandsman

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Roger Thorne, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Wem, Shropshire UK
    Having subscribed to the British Bandsman Magazine for many, many years I am now wondering whether to cancel my subscription. I now pick up my bandsman on a Friday morning and basically read 'second-hand' news.
    With the exception of one or two main articles, and the odd classified advert I have usually gathered the information in the previous week from either or one of the other Brass Band websites.

    How many other people find themselves in the same situation, but more imortantly, will it eventually see the demise of this, and maybe other popular banding magazines.

  2. flugelgal

    flugelgal Active Member

    I used to subscribe to the Bandsman and also to BBW but I didn't renew the subscriptions a year or so ago just before moving house (didn't want the hassle of having extra things to change address for).

    I never resubscribed to them, partly because I didn't always read everything in them, and, like you say, Roger, what I was reading in there I'd read online some days (or in the case of BBW - weeks) beforehand. I also don't need to find storage space to keep all these magazines that I never go back and re-read but I've paid for so don't want to throw out!

    As we often don't pay for the things we view online (like this very site), even though we have to pay for the same information to come on paper, I'm thinking that online would be a more popular option. Maybe an online subscription service would still keep the magazines in business and people in jobs. If we don't have people getting paid to report the news do we lose the quality of the news? Do people only then report things that are relevant/interesting to them? Do we trust the source of the news (do we trust it anyway :roll: )? Basically, do we lose a valuable service or is it an outdated mode of communication?
  3. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    Rockhampton, Qld, AUSTRALIA
    It's a similar thing with the Australian Band World. Because it's a Victorian publication, a lot of the articles are southern based, and when it does cover Queensland, it's only the bigger bands.

    But I still keep a subscription for the same reasons newspaper companies still publish theirs on paper - easier to ensure EVERYONE can read it. Just because I am in on the goss, doesn't mean the rest of the band is.

    Also, I love some of the features in ABW. A few years ago, they had a 6 page feature on trombones, including 2 pages by Peter Younghusband, formerly of Leyland (I think) on bass troms. A more recent one was by Howard Taylor on brass bands of the North, or someone's thesis of the "country band".

    Finally the other good thing about the hard copy of a magazine is it's easier to keep and collect them for future reference. The internetwhile it stres a great mass of info, doesn't make retrieval easy all the time.
  4. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Leeds - Yorkshire - UK
    The bottom line is that the "Bandsman" (Should it be "Bander" or "Bandperson"?) is obselete for all the reasons previously mentioned. Old news, at a price, and taking up storage space. I gave up my subscription about 5 years ago.
    These papers/periodicals are unfortunate victims of our modern times.
    4br etc offer an instant service a 1000 times more efficient, with much broader scope and interface.
    The papers just cannot compete.
    If the "Bandsman had moved with the times some years ago and set up a site like 4br their famous title might not now be heading for the scrap heap - but, as they say "hindsight is a perfect science"
  5. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Hinckley, Leicestershire
    The blatts must review their editorial policy. They can't compete with the web on news content, so they must major on features.

    Unfortunately, in the past, 'features' has all too often meant articles about Fred Postlethwaite, who started at the age of 7 as 3rd cornet with the Lower Bogg Village brass band, and who has now achieved the dizzy heights of second BBb bass with the Lower Bogg Village brass band, after 97 years of sterling service.

    I have to admit that my subscriptions to the prints is being sorely tested.
  6. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    West Yorkshire
    I think the bandsman is slowly becoming obsolete, Take the recent Masters preview, Centre page spread on Leyland, Gary Cutt etc. etc, i picked my bandsman up fri and flipped through it, I'd know (thanks to 4barsrest/tMP) for days that Leyland had to withdraw. They just can't compete with the internet! Sad that it is.
  7. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    Pontyclun, South Wales
    It's not just the reporting that's getting behind. If you're a player looking for a band or vice-versa, where're you going to advertise?

    tMP, 4Bars Rest and just possibly in the Bandsman. Not so many years ago that order would have been reversed but bands and band management are finally waking up to the power of the internet.
  8. drummerboy

    drummerboy Member

    Whilst Bandsman cannot compete properly with the internet for speed of news (as in printing it), it does seem rather one sided in it's views. The write up of the bands for the Masters was a joke to be honest (look at YBS' for a start). Also, it appears they have their favourite bands and person who they like to feature.
    Their reiewing of CD's and music seems silly too. Never have a bad word about anyone or anything. Usually it's behind too. The Hendon band CD they reviewed in the last issue (think it was last issue) was ok as a review, but the CD was released last September.
    I think they need to very carefully look at what they print, in every possible sense really.
  9. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Hadleigh, Essex
    I also hesitated over renewing my subscription, largely for the reasons given by others already, in particular that much of the news has already come out via other sources. I did renew it in the end, at least for the current year, as there is the occasional article of interest, together with the fact that the cd and concert reviews offer an alternative view that I find most interesting, as someone who does reviews myself.

    I would agree, however, that they sometimes seem to be very non-critical, and afraid to stick their necks out over important issues, as well as, at present at least, having quite poor standards of proof-reading, as was shown by a caption denoting the JAG Mount Charles corrnet section, when the photo showed horns and basses, and putting the 2005 date in the middle of an article on the 2004 Open. Mistakes do happen - I know that well enough, as I've found with my bits for 4BR - but a little more effort should reduce the number allowed to slip through.

    There will always be some who will prefer a printed magazine, and it is obviously available over a wide area and to those without intenet access or the time to browse, but I sense that many people are turning to BBW and in particular The Brass Herald for higher quality reporting and articles, and relying on the net for day-to-day news.
  10. tsawyer

    tsawyer Member

    Fodens are "overall circuit champions" of the 2005 Whit Friday's according to their web page... :shock:


  11. Tuba Miriam

    Tuba Miriam Member

    On another front, isn't the editorial team of the Bandsman closely associated with Kapitol Concert Promotions, and don't they now run the nationals?? Please confirm or correct me on these points. If so, for a 'news' journal this creates a conflict of / vested interest, since it's impossible to comment objectively and critically on the brass band establishment, and its organising bodies, if you are yourself a part of the establishment (insofar as the Bandsman is critical of anything).

    If the Bandsman re-vamped and decided to focus on features rather than news it could secure its long-term future; there will always be a print market to exploit.
  12. Pierre

    Pierre Member

    East Yorkshire
    Having been an avid BB reader and subscriber for many years, I decided that this year I would not bother renewing my subscription. Same reasons as those already posted. I have access to more information quicker and easier on the net, no problems with storage and a broad spectrum of topics with no "lack of space" to fall back on when an article/ piece of news doesn`t appear. :)
  13. onedrummeruk

    onedrummeruk Member

    Cornwallland shire
    I have to agree that the bandsman has slipped drastically over the past few years. I do subscribe to BBW though which i feel is a much better publication.

    I think it has to be remembered that anything in print will be kept as a historical document for future bandspeople, but I have a problem with the same for information kept on the internet.
  14. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Hinckley, Leicestershire
    You are quite right, of course, the editorial team at the Bandsman is indeed involved with the management of the National Championships. But there is nothing wrong with that, just so long as the Bandsman makes no pretence at being an independent journal with respect to the Nationals - or, as is more likely, just so long as people who read the magazine do not make the mistake of believing it to be independent in that respect.

    Unlike the broadcast media, there is no law or code of convention which requires the print media to be impartial, or to avoid conflicts of interest.
  15. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Hinckley, Leicestershire
    Uncritical, yes, most certainly, but that is not confined to the Bandsman.

    In this month's issue of BBW, there is a headline which reads "Fairey break with tradition by inviting women into their ranks".

    Hardly a world-shattering piece of news - all Fairey are doing is joining the vast majority of other bands in that particular respect. But it is not till we reach paragraph 9 that we discover that the band has lost no fewer than ten of its regular players, including a number of principals. Now, as a non-journo, I'd say that that is most definitely a story of note. And if the article is to be read at face value, these losses are for a whole variety of reasons unconnected with the change of policy on female players.

    Now, don't you think that a half-decent journalist's nose might start twitching at such an apparent coincidence? Yes, so do I. But the article makes not the slightest attempt to investigate and establish the truth of the matter. There are no probing questions, merely verbatim statements from the band manager (who must be delighted at the way in which the magazine has connived in the damage limitation exercise and printed his comments without challenge).

    The anonymous 'journalist' who wrote the article has made no apparent attempt to speak to any of the other parties concerned - the players who have left, the female who has joined, the BFBB (who presumably have some sort of policy on the matter). The writer has committed a cardinal sin - he (or she) has forgotten the hack's mantra: news is something which someone, somewhere, does not want you to know.

    This is, to put it mildy,shoddy writing, typical of the cosy, uncritical, undemanding style of journalism which is seeing readers desert the blatts in their droves - as witness this, and many other threads on this forum.
  16. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    West Midlands
    I have been subscribing to BBW and the Bandsman but when my subscription runs out I'll not be renewing. It's for the same reason, somethings are new and important and the national test pieces were announced in the bandsman before the internet but sometimes I think the bandsman is expensive for what you get. It's sad because I'm sure the people at the Bandsman office will, like many bands, be fighting to keep it popular and the tradition going but with the internet growing at such a rate and speed, it impossible for the paper edition to keep up. Other newspapers are the same - I get the Tes delivered on a fri but the email with the content in arrives into my inbox on a thursday and there is constant coverage on their website.
  17. craigster

    craigster Member

    Burlington, Canada
    For those of us overseas, the price of Britsh Bandsman doesn't make it worthwhile when compared to the free internet sites. I used to subscribe to BB but at 54 GBP a year (converted into a terrible Canadian dollar), it was a rip of.

    I could never figure out why the Canadian subscription costs 14.5 GBP more than a UK subscription. Certainly the postage can't be that much extra - my wife's Grandma used to mail us weekly copies of the SA mag Salvationist and she was living on a pensioner's wages!!

    Anyway, the flourishing of good brass band sites like 4barsrest and tmp certainly allows those of us in Canada to find news out instantly and in my mind has started to create a real global brass band community.

    TIMBONE Active Member

    We must all bare in mind that we are internet friendly people on this forum, there are still many people out there who could not even switch on a computer. My Dad loves it when he gets his British Bandsman.
  19. Dave1

    Dave1 Member

    Perth, Scotland
    I get the Bandsman and have done since about 1980. I really am thinking about not renewing this time but it is the only thing that comes through my letterbox that isn't a bill !!!!!
  20. louise0502

    louise0502 Member

    I prefer to read it in the bandsman. I think it's because it's just all in one place and i do refer back to past issues.

    And i don't like spending all day on the computer. At least with the bandsman i can chose where i read it. i usually sit back in a comfy chair with the tv on and take about four hours to read it cover to cover!
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