Sunday 23 July 2017

Rally - The process

After a few days without TV and newspapers, whilst poking about old ruins, it's back to reality and a catch-up. There are times when I truly despair at the current state of the news reporting and journalism profession.

For sure there are many good reporters out there, and some with opinions worth reading, but it's such a competitive job these days that there are those who are always looking for the angle that will make the most lurid headline, get them noticed, head-hunted and offered a higher paid job. And don't let the furore over BBC salaries distract you, there are eye watering sums to be earned in other news outlets be it in print, on air or on-line. And then there are the 'commercial' TV stations.

To hell with accuracy and go for the headline - and the money. It really is quite tawdry at times, this scramble for notoriety and riches.

And then there is the legal profession. Like journalists there are good guys and bad guys, those who seek the truth and those who seek to bend the truth. The trouble is, our legal system can be pretty much adversarial at times. To hell with the facts, the prosecution wants the 'right' result every bit as much as the defence, and the truth is the first to suffer. I suppose that's why we have judges and sheriffs. They are supposed to sift through the arguments, sort out the facts, weigh up the evidence and then deliver, hopefully, a considered and acceptable verdict.

Initially I was heartened to note that the two FAI accidents were being heard separately, one after the other, but will each be assessed on its merits and judgements issued? I don't know. What I do know is that it will provide certain sections of the Press with two chances for headlines and given what has transpired this week, I fear the worst when they move on to the second.

It's a pity that the Edinburgh Court does not produce its own daily parliamentary style 'Hansard' reports as proceedings can only be witnessed by those attending. That means we are reliant on those members of the Press who are attending to do their job diligently and accurately and for newspapers and TV/Radio stations to report responsibly. What I've seen and read so far does not fill me with hope.

For instance if they don't know how the sport works or is administered, how do they know which questions to ask to elicit the information and clarify the more technical points for the benefit of the general public? We've all seen what has transpired over Hillsborough.

Over the next few weeks we will all just have to grimace and bear it, wince when we read the headlines and cringe when we see the TV bulletins.

However, a full transcript of the Inquiry will be available to purchase once it's all over. I'm told it will be expensive.

The big question is, will it be worth buying? We'll just have to wait and see.


  1. Totally agree with all your well explained and totally relevant comments, however, regarding the report, as you have said, it will be expensive to buy, however, as it involves a lot of the people in motorsport, is it not possible for the MSA to purchase one copy and then disseminate down through the system and ask for comments, observations, advice, etc so that we can, through the medium of our sporting forum, seek and take the best way forward, if it is required?

  2. I expect the msa will buy a copy and with a bit of luck (prompting!) hopefully they will post it on their website as a matter of public interest. No indication as yet of cost. I expect that will be determined by its length.