Friday, 29 July 2011

Valuing News of The World and CP

My work with 'Creative Partnerships', along with all the other creative agents, ended last week.  In looking to our futures Lee Corner invited us to consider our values - consider what it is we really want, and to reflect on our past.  

All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education (The Robinson Report) was published to wide acclaim in 1999 and spawned Creative Partnerships.  Throughout the document it refers to collaboration supporting learning - collaboration between young people and parents, arts organisations, businesses, LEAs, local communities, Arts Council, museums, libraries, everyone.  It also recognises a need to develop confidence for young people to make the most of their own resources, developing their own creativity.  Our values are as our name suggests - creativity and partnership.

So what's gone wrong with Creative Partnerships?  Have we kept to our core values?  Does the Government share our core values, or are their priorities different?

There's been a lot of talk in the press about values.   The police have not yet completed a criminal investigation into phone hacking, but already a hugely successful paper has been closed down for good.  In a recent Sky news article titled, 'what is the value of the News of the World?', begins: 

With an average weekly circulation of 2.6 million, the News Of The World is Britain's best-selling Sunday paper and a profitable venture.

But if NOTW main value was to make money, they'd be merchant bankers.  The other value they claim is to seek 'truth'.  It might not be Famine in Somalia, because they also value 'fun' and focus on stories about 'human nature'.  However they identify their news values, you definitely know what you are getting with NOTW.  They have stuck to their values, and yet their 'lack of values' has ended it.  But that's not the end of the story. At Sky, the Saturday Sun has already grown in size, and media analysts 'expect a new title launch, but not immediately.'

Creative Partnerships, like NOTW, is gone and it's not coming back, even if our values are sound - 'a profitable venture' recognised by Ofsted and more widely:

PriceWaterhouseCoopers say that for every £1 invested Creative Partnerships delivered £15.30 of benefits to the national economy

A new title launch soon?  I guess that depends on what the Government values.

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