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Navy News and RNR


War Hero
More evidence it seems of people watching this board... I know there's been a fair degree of comment about the lack of coverage of the RNR in this learned journal.

This months edition of NN just hit my desk. After last months feature on Caroline we have 2 fairly major articles on the RNR and its future. Nothing new to us, but defintiely a pointer that those that be are serious about closer integration - they must be, it's in NN!
Don't get too excited. "Two Six" I suspect is paid for like advertorial and written by the RN as opposed to NN!

Also remember what mags and newspapers are for. They write stuff of interest to their readers! The activities of the RNR are not on the whole of interest to the wider RN community. We are tiny in comparison with RNAs and Sea Cadets in terms of numbers and magazine buyers more importantly. As we say, we are part of the RN and not separate so having our own pages would probably be counterproductive.

Before conspiracy theories set in, I suspect there is no deep seated plot by the Editor of NN to ignore the RNR just an apathy fuelled by a general lack of interest outside the the RNR in what we do. Slowly and steadily as there is more interest in the RNR slowly therefore more coverage will naturally happen.
If you actually broach the subject of RNR coverage with the Navy News they tell you that if the RNR would send things in they would publish them. however there have been a few occasions when things have been sent in and the most they publish is a two paragraph piece rarely with any photo's.
Look at the coverage of the RNR 100 for example. i think there was over 1500 reservists attending the parade at Horseguards and the Navy news gave it next to no coverage at all.

They'd rather mention a bloody tea party in Stafford - who the hell wants to read about that?? (Navy news June 06 page 21)
I think I'm reasonably qualified to respond on this one... although I can't speak for RNR100 as I wasn't here then.

We get accused of being flat-top news, skimmer news, dockyard dandy et al. The very simple truth is that we write what we have in a month; next month there's a three page feature on submarines/AUTEC. Two pages on the task group etc. The month after, no idea, depends what's happening in the world.

Some RNR units are more active than others in providing us with news, but generally speaking, it's not really a priority. President seems to be the most lively, but I'm guessing that's because it has a lot of MRS people there. Some units we never hear from. If people don't tell us what's going on, we don't know. There is, as one of your posters rightly points out, no deep-seated plot.

Royals complain about the lack of RM coverage, yet send most of their articles to G&L. Submariners complain about lack of deep stories, but quite often the kibosh is put on by Fleet HQ who say "we can't talk about submarines"... Old boys complain that there's not enough nostalgia. Today's lads complain it's full of old boy stories. The tightropes we have to walk...

If you saw how much material we get sent in every month, you'll see why things get left out; we cannot squeeze everything in and its frightening just how much we leave out - pictures especially. I wish, at times, we could do more. But we have just three reporters who not only write everything, but design it. We rely on submitted copy, otherwise we'd never get a paper out.

2-6 is indeed submitted internal comms stuff provided by the RN (some of it we write ourselves, but not much).

Two pages every month are dedicated to the RNA every month because we have a long-standing agreement; the same goes for the Sea Cadets. Perhaps if the RNR was to ask for a monthly input, it would get one. I don't know and I can't say for certain because that is the editor's decision.

On a personal note, I'm not really bothered if you're RN or RNR, as far as I'm concerned you're all sailors and if you're doing something interesting then that's a story.

I think the fundamental problem rests with the RNR, and it's a problem which goes back decades and is internal. It simply doesn't have the profile of the TA and I doubt ever has. Every medium sized town has some form of TA unit, but the same can't be said for the RNR. If you don't have the footprint... Also, we've only really been contacted by the upper echelons of the RNR recently, so maybe they are looking to up the profile.

As for the tea party in Stafford... it neatly filled a very small hole on the People pages (which is about the best I can say about it. :D )
"President seems to be the most lively, but I'm guessing that's because it has a lot of MRS people there"

The new CO is MRS, so I guess we'll be seeing a lot more of Pres in NN.

I still think the RNR100 was a farce for which NN has never adequtely explained its actions. Bearing in mind the national media coverage, I find it incredible that the best NN could do was a cruddy backpage photo. I think they failed to understand the real anger this caused among many people.
The RNR might have a bigger profile (if only slightly) if it was supported by the Royal Navy's news paper!
The first RNR unit to be opened in years, the only RNR unit in Yorkshire (Britains largest county i might add) only got a piece about 2" x 4" last year and again no photo.
Is it any surprise that we struggle to recruit if we cant even get publicity from "our own" newspaper.
I fully appreciate the point that the best stories will be picked and made to fit into the space provided but some of the stories contained in the NN at times begger belief.
trehorn said:

That is a very good idea indeed; I'll have a word with the editor.

As for some of the stories beggaring belief, well, we try to pick stories which interest us, the RN, the public, RNA, and anyone else interested. We don't always get it right. We have, however, fundamentally changed the paper in the past eight or nine months. I hope that it looks better, reads better, and is more focused on today's Fleet.

I stress again. We only have three staff (Crab News has one less). Each issue of NN runs to about 40,000 words (a small novel). Writing stories is easy. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to design a page, to squeeze lots of stories in, to get the jigsaw to fit. That takes twice as long at least as it does to actually write the stories. Then we have to proofread and re-proofread, and still we make mistakes. We're not always spot on, we can never please everyone, but I hope that one thing shines through: all of us care passionately about the Senior Service.
Asst_ed - agree with Monkey - BZ for sticking up head. Happy to stand corrected if it's not an apathy thing. Interested that you hang around in rumration...good journos pick up good stories from places like RR :)
Also, why not do a feature each month on RNR branches - they are different from the RN in many respects and it would be good to profile some of the more obscure groupings. Most of the blurb is already out there, so could be produced at minimal cost /effort, but would fill space.
Oh you trusting lot you!!!

If Navy News did not pick up on RNR 100, and in all my years of the RNR have never done any "Unit Profiles", what makes you think that will change now???

Perhaps you should be approaching "The Soldier" :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
To be fair, when units have been given the freedom of their local town/city that has attracted coverage, and when contacted later, NN have generously given copies of the photos they hold, not just the one printed.

I agree though, RNR100 seems to have been a cock-up of massive proportion, the largest number of naval personnel marching in London since Nelson were a lad with next to no coverage in our own service newspaper.

Given that NN is based in Nelson, would it not be possible for someone from the staff pay a visit to King Alfred on a drill evening and learn a little about how the RNR works, or even visit during the day and speak to the permanent staff perhaps.

On a less serious note, perhaps theres scope for a new publication just for the RNR that we could call Navy Reserve News, that's written in a similar style to NN, where the Jack cartoon is replaced by Andy Capp in deference to our civilian backround, where the "Ships of the RNR" focuses on P2000s, MSFs and Tons, and which includes a special section for the URNU instead of the SCC! :)
It's simple: Invite them to the Unit, fill full of Whiskey. Get 2 page spread! (worked for CAROLINE anyway)

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