Last week I received a tweet from a Studios Central reader in regards to a recent weekly photo update that caught my attention.
@studioscentral it seems to be a lot of decline in the WDW parks lately. Just interested why non of this stuff ever appears in your updates?
— James Malin (@Malin1804) December 31, 2012
At first, I simply tweeted back to James asking him what I was missing from my updates and pointed out I regularly post photos of broken effects, such as the MuppetVision 3D water fountain which routinely breaks down.
I started thinking more about James' tweet and wondered if I was in fact covering the Studios as well as I had thought. For many years, I have attempted to cover the good and the bad of Disney's Hollywood Studios as fairly as I can. I firmly believe it's as important to celebrate the good aspects of Disney's Hollywood Studios as much as the poor aspects. That's what I consider to be fair.
So reading James' tweet made me wonder if that point of view was getting across. His tweet also comes at a time when I'm reading more and more tweets, forum posts and blog entries about how many Disney World fan sites are not covering the news and happenings of Walt Disney World in a fair light. More to the point, many are calling the community out as a whole for being overly "rosey" when it comes to reporting on what is happening in the parks.
As much as I write about how wonderful Disney's Hollywood Studios is, I recognize there are definite shortcomings to the park. If you have read this site for any length of time, you will find a wide array of harsh and/or negative posts in regards to errors as I see them in the Studios. By the same token, you will see lots of posts about the great additions and changes that have been made to the park. Once again, balance is the key.
If you simply report on the negatives, then you are just as bad as the people that report everything is wonderful. Both are disservices to the reader.
So after thinking about James' tweet over the last few days, I have decided to firmly reassert my position that Studios Central is a site that covers everything Disney's Hollywood Studios, good or bad. I agree with James that it is important to include negative (and positive) reporting on the site because many people that read this site make financial decisions based on what they read, such as to eat at a particular restaurant or to buy new merchandise.
I also want to point out that this column post is a reflection on my site only. I am by no means passing judgement on how other web sites choose to cover Walt Disney World. Those are their sites and their decisions to write as they see fit. I can only control what happens on this site and I want to be very clear how I want Studios Central to be run.
I like to think if you were to ask any Imagineer or Cast Member how they would like to be reviewed or evaluated, they would simply ask that it be fair and that is my goal for this site. So yes James, we do include photos of broken effects or chipped paint but we also post photos of how wonderful the Tower of Terror is or how much I like a new entree on a restaurant menu. For me, finding that balance is a critical aspect to keeping this site informative for everyone.