Friday, July 13, 2007

Boys and toys

Blogging today from RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire at the Royal International Air Tattoo. The defence industry is very important to the North West - indeed the whole of the UK - and we follow very closely what BAE Systems do. They employ a lot of people and sit at the top end of a very large supply chain. So, it most definitely is not a jolly.

One of the fascinating things is meeting other "industry" journalists and observing their hierarchies. At the press conference this morning we heard about a whole new contract with the Indian Air Force and a new project with the RAF - it creates a slight problem for Lancashire as there is a huge need for engineers that is hard to meet.

The first question came from the old hack from Janes Defence Weekly. Very technical. Then the lads I've been with - Peter Magill from the Lancashire Telegraph and Nick Hyde from the Blackpool Gazette - asked about job prospects in their area. You then get industry veterans chiding the officials from the MoD about pet subjects that have clearly been simmering for some time. You get a question that seems obvious and seems to have missed the point. But then that is the point. You get the officials, or BAE execs to repeat it all back but in a slightly less clipped and polished way. Thus getting a better quote.

There is a story to be got here, whoever you are, whoever your readers are. Proper journalists are never off duty. Even me, and I've got a blog to do as well.

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