Editorial: Trains, planes and automobiles – the news in Moray this week

Sunday Supplement

The editor voices his views on Moray’s most topical events of the past week…..

Scoop of the week when the news ‘landed’ on our doorstep (pic: Jim Simpson)

The weather has once again been the main topic of conversation this week and in particular the highly unusual decision taken to cancel all trains running through Moray.

Not that it is unusual for trains to be affected by the weather – but this time the rail authorities announced that no trains would run on the ‘Moray Line’ 24 hours before the storm even arrived.

That was a decision that upset many regular travellers with more than a few contacting insideMoray to have a grumble over their routine being disrupted – in particular on Friday when the first burst of hurricane-force winds had passed and Moray appeared relatively unscathed.

My view on all this? People just need to understand that for those who have a responsibility for public safety there is a fine line between angering your customers and keeping them alive – I know which side of that line I would take!

Maritime Nation?

I don’t think there was many who did not believe the UK Government decision to scrap Nimrod was just plain stupid.

So no surprise then that when insideMoray broke the story that was subsequently copied by national media that RAF Lossiemouth was once again the home for United States maritime aircraft it caused considerable anger.

As one very astute insideMoray reader put it, our government insist that we must retain nuclear weapons without ever really putting up a convincing argument as to why that is the case. They spend billions of our tax pounds on purchasing and maintaining this ‘deterrent’ – then they leave it pretty much unprotected from intrusion by potential enemies in submarines.

So their answer is to call for help from our NATO allies who were very much more sensible in their approach to defence, maintaining a maritime air force.

Meanwhile US forces are pulling out of bases in the UK as they themselves seek to reduce their defence spending.

Frankly, if like me you are worried by all of this then so you should be.

Media, media, media

Talking of breaking stories on insideMoray – it was noted by us that our initial story about US visitors to Lossiemouth was picked up by one national newspaper – the very paper that not so long ago had a pop at us for using some of their quotes.

Fair enough, in the world of news reporting traditional newspapers are facing difficult times as they now have to compete with online community sites such as ours. Some work with us, some try to fight us, some, frankly, try to frighten us with threats of ‘dire consequences’.

Here at insideMoray we have been accused of being nothing more than a conduit for other people’s news, an unaccredited non-official news source that as such should not be allowed to attend press conferences, election counts and the likes.

And yet, as was the case with several of our stories, quotes are lifted just as quickly by the mainstream media without any credit for their source being acknowledged.

But that is OK, seriously it is – we know that in the fast-moving world of news reporting you take what you can get where you can get it.

In our case the sources are clear – our readers, people out there on the streets of Moray who are more than happy to share their stories with a community site they trust.

And I’m very grateful to them for that as it proves ours is an initiative that works.

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