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RAF NEWS - Rag or What?

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RAF NEWS - Rag or What?

Old 29th Mar 2013, 06:52
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RAF NEWS - Rag or What?

I have just received the latest edition of RAF News and I wonder why I bother to subscribe to such a rag.

This issue contains a report on the funeral of an RAF officer and reports that a party fired a ’21 gun salute’ – I think not. Recently, I found three glaring errors by just glancing through, on first receipt: my email to the newspaper’s editor went unanswered. A few weeks after, a photograph showing a memorial to a member of aircrew, clearly showed the aircraft involved was a Wellington but the accompanying narrative stated the pilot was flying a Lancaster – en route to the Far East in 1943 via the Middle East, by the way.

Of the three service newspapers, the RAF News is definitely the worst, despite changes and ‘improvements’ over the years. However, the standard of journalism and the proofing of articles seems to be exceptionally poor and errors of fact frequent.

Why is this the case and why does, whichever of the great and good is responsible for it, not take action and give it a jolly good shake up? Frankly, to me, it appears a poor reflection on the RAF’s PR effort and does not do justice to the service.

Old Duffer
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 06:56
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I've always found that Soldier Magazine and Navy News are better reads and more informative than the poor RAF effort.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 07:06
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They also failed to publish my letter regarding the first swallow of summer. Outrageous.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 07:29
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OD ... The Flagship Publication the "RAF Annual Review" is no more than a glossy car showroom brochure these days IMO ... so I'm not surprised by your comments on RAF News.

But the PR People say "we're not the target audience" ... as if that's some justification for factual errors

Best ...

Coff.

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 29th Mar 2013 at 07:31.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 08:15
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Rag. Definitely a rag. The RAF News has become worse than The Sun for cheesy headlines. The recent "Diamond Geezers" headline referring to the Red Arrows recent return to a nine-ship display team just made me cringe. Even more so when my RN and Army opposite numbers started taking the p!ss. TBH the paper wasn't too bad (although it still had a few cringeworthy headlines) when produced out of Innsworth, but since the move to HW it has become very "lower deck" to use a term provided by my RN office mate.

Last edited by Roland Pulfrew; 29th Mar 2013 at 08:15.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 08:30
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It's a joke of a rag. I still remember/fume about an article about a year ago which went along the lines of "good news for RAF as allowance budget is slashed". It is all PR for ex boys and girls, you don't even get the odd letter moaning about this and that any more.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 08:47
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One of the earlier successes of PPRuNe was the fact that information, which the RAF News would certainly have suppressed, began to appear in the public domain. At the time, certain not-very-but-thought-they-were senior officers moved heaven and earth trying to establish who the posters were - even trying to get RAF Plod involved....
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 08:56
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I cancelled my subscription when, following swingeing Defence cuts, the RAF News carried the following banner headline:

"Leaner Force Packs Bigger Punch!"

That was in 1975.

Plus ça change....
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 10:40
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There was a centre spread from the Jubilee flypast where the main photo was of a BBMF Hurricane taken head on from the tailgunner's turret of the Lancaster. The caption said it was a Spitfire!

There was a 'Top Trumps' style comparison between fast jets over Afghanistan a couple of years ago. Apart from the silhouette of an F3, the claim was that the Tornado GR3 (Yes, that too!) had a top speed of Mach 2.

Naturally, my letter to the editor didn't receive a response.

Does anybody use the 'leisure time' centre section for anything?

Calling it a 'rag' is too kind.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 10:56
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Does anybody use the 'leisure time' centre section for anything?
Toilet paper. Why on earth should I give two hoots about what some random service person thinks the top ten tunes on their iPod are?

But the PR People say "we're not the target audience"
If we are not the target audience, why are there 20 copies of the damn thing delivered to our crew room every fortnight?

Waste of time, energy, and certainly in this day and age, money. (Especially considering there are no decent Pen Pal entries for us to laugh about these days!)
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 11:05
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One of the earlier successes of PPRuNe was the fact that information, which the RAF News would certainly have suppressed, began to appear in the public domain. At the time, certain not-very-but-thought-they-were senior officers moved heaven and earth trying to establish who the posters were - even trying to get RAF Plod involved....
Spot on Beagle. I've had a few visits and always found a strident "**** ***" worked. But things have changed for the better. Many in MoD now use PPRuNe as the source of policy ideas, and is the de facto corporate knowledge base for working out how to implement extant policies.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 11:06
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I can understand the propaganda message that they are trying to convey, i.e, everything is wonderful in the RAF, to those who have no idea or to those who have a modicum of interest.

However, for those of us still serving who see the reality on a daily basis, there is a huge and growing divergence between spin and perception. If we scrapped the RAF and split our assets between Army and Navy, it would still be presented as a 'good news and success' story!

Sadly the many inaccuracies and downmarket, assumption of low readership IQ approach has compounded my view that the RAF News is no longer what it once was.

Still read it though, as they are given away free where I work. Just takes 5 minutes now from cover to cover, rather than 20 minutes, 10 years ago.

Last edited by Party Animal; 29th Mar 2013 at 11:07.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 11:11
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Soft, strong and thoroughly absorbant. I can't see what any good airman could have against it. Apart from his bottom.

Last edited by Courtney Mil; 29th Mar 2013 at 11:11.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 13:02
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Whereas 60 years ago, there was a proper magazine published monthly. This was 'Royal Air Force Flying Review - The Journal of the Royal Air Force' which cost the princely sum of 1/- !!


When the RAF Brize Norton Education Section (which no doubt has some silly oo-rah rufty-tufty title such as 'Warfighter Enhancement Wing' these days...) was having a clear out, they found a box of old 1940s-50s copies of various aviation magazines. Including the first ever Recce Journal (astonishingly no references to 'curved handrails', 'slack tracks', 'GT wheels' etc. back then...). I was asked if I'd like it, so jumped at the opportunity. Most were susbequently donated to the Yorkshire Air Museum and the Shuttleworth collection, but I kept the 2 copies of RAF Flying Review!

How CAS appeared on parade for the Coronation (from the July 1953 copy):


Perhaps the present CAS should also appear thus on State Occasions?

Last edited by BEagle; 29th Mar 2013 at 13:15. Reason: superfluous conjunction!
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 13:12
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BEagle ...

That article "In the year 2004 ... an RAF Space Bomber takes off on a mission" sounds interesting ... any chance you could post a scan for us all to read

Coff.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 13:19
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These days they tend to promote the horse over the man to high office, take Westminster for example...
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 13:35
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Coff, I'll try:






Note the panel on the final page - I wonder who won the 10/6 and how the letter read!

Last edited by BEagle; 29th Mar 2013 at 13:36.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 13:59
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Thanks BEagle ... really appreciate you posting the article What a fascinating read ...

Yep ... The winning letter must have been a hoot

Sadly the reality was (more decline) ...

RAF 2004

Best ...

Coff.

PS. Magnetic Flying Boots ... I want some ... I thought my dinghy stabber caused enough "swing" on a Chipmunk compass

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 29th Mar 2013 at 14:08.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 14:30
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Half a guinea...

Come come Beagle,
this is no time for modesty...

Note the panel on the final page - I wonder who won the 10/6 and how the letter read!
...what DID your letter say?

Dave

Last edited by davejb; 29th Mar 2013 at 14:30.
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Old 29th Mar 2013, 14:54
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Not that I'm any kind of homophobe, however it does appear as though the RAF news should have a rainbow across the top of the front page these days...just to give the casual observer some hint of what seems to fill the pages of most editions.

I keep reading in the RAF News (apparently quoting our most senior officers) about how well we're doing in our rise through the rankings of the stonewall best gay employer table. I can't help wondering how we'd figure in any 'best hetro-sexual' employer ratings table....maybe it could be the stone-henge rating!
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