Sunday 15 January 2012

Theatre claims East Anglian Daily Times editorial staff cuts will bring curtain down on arts coverage

The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich is urging readers of the East Anglian Daily Times to protest at cuts in arts coverage it says will come as a result of the latest round of 14 redundancies at Archant Suffolk, publisher of the EADT and the Ipswich Star.

It is believed that the role of EADT arts' editor will go in the cuts to editorial staff.

A posting on the the New Wolsey Theatre's website says it is concerned "to hear of an apparent strategy by the East Anglian Daily Times to abandon all arts coverage."

It continues: "The arts form a vital part not only of the Cultural Life of this region but of its economic prosperity as well. At a time of intense economic pressure Suffolk County Council recently protected the Arts from its programme of cuts precisely because it recognised the important contribution the Arts make to the region's economy.

"We know from our experience and research that our customers look to the EADT for information and features about the Arts, particularly from the popular Saturday edition of the paper. The removal of all informed cultural commentary, reviews and information can only make the paper a less attractive purchase for the customers of the EADT.

"At a time when arts activity in the region is growing in diversity, vitality and ambition, when its economic contribution is being recognised alongside its place in creating an attractive social and cultural environment, it seems a very retrograde step for the EADT to be removing itself from this vital and expanding area of, excitement, commentary and debate.

"For the health of the cultural scene within the region, the organisations like ourselves which rely on the coverage and commentary that EADT provide, and the future health of your own publication we urge the EADT to reconsider."

It then urges readers to write to EADT editor Terry Hunt.

  • The NUJ chapel at the Archant titles in Suffolk has called on the jobs of the editors and deputy editors at the EADT and Star to be merged to save some of the 14 editorial posts under threat.

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