View Full Version : Groat vs Courier

18-Jan-03, 12:04
Heres a new ain

are these papers cack or what, which ones better???????

why do we need 2 when one would do and who reads those back slapping articles which are mince

Around with Rowe- ?????????????????

Pictish Navy- top laugh well done Geordie keep it up :D

The View from Here- View from Where?????????? :)

Letter from orkney!!!!!! put it in the Orcadian min

The Brimister Saga - I ask u!!!!!!!!

The things 50% articles and 25% adverts trying to stop you going south for shopping

And as for the religious debate that rages in the letters page don't get me started

Noel Donaldson is also living in 1940s Wick that column is hilarious

Next year Noel finds out e Ice Cream Shop hiz closed

thats if he gets over the bridge paying his toll :D

The history stuffs no bad though in the paper by that Omand gadgie

18-Jan-03, 15:42
Very funny spittalpunk, There was also an old fisher mannie in Thurso called Hootnah, he used to call the Courier the 2 minute silence.
Nowadays i look forward to the Groat and the Courier. Although theres lots of stuff i just skim i wouldnt be without them. Im a bit uncomfortable with some of the sheriff court stuff. Occasionally theres a case where the person is clearly going through a crisis in life and the case will be graphically reported in the local paper. It seems like its more of a shame thing in a small community like ours, rather than any real news value. Just pure gossip even though it may well be true.
Apart fom that i for one would miss either the Groat or Courier.

18-Jan-03, 17:01
I, like may would not miss either paper (just in case some news happens to appear in it one week) but as local newspapers go they absolutely suck!!!

After many years in the newspaper trade I have to say they are the worst example of local reporting I have ever seen. Just look at the content of the Orcadian, not a brilliant paper but at least there is something to read in it.

They should consider changing their format to pop tabloid and introduce colour. Many local papers that have changed from broadsheet to tabloid have improved in quality and sales.

:eyes :roll:

18-Jan-03, 23:59

19-Jan-03, 01:05
[quote="HEBLIX"]. On the other hand no end of space is made available to R. S. Shand and buddies for the pathetic tripe of creation- they should be in an institution

Hmmmmm HEBLIX, care to elaborate on your above staement.

19-Jan-03, 02:06

19-Jan-03, 09:02
Hi Heblix, Of course i understand your reaction to it, but that is the point of the letters page to perhaps try and understand someone elses viewpoint on a particular topic or in the case of R. S. Shand and buddies to forcefully say their way is the right way.
What really caught my attention in your response was your statement "pathetic tripe of creation". Thats a very powerful statement about a question pretty much fundamental to mans existance so i just wondered where you were coming from on the issue.
If you dont know then thats ok, but if you do have an issue i would love to hear it.
Maybe the letters page in the Groat would be a better place to say such things.
I cant imagine Mr Shand and his buddies letting you off the hook so lightly.

20-Jan-03, 00:18
I stopped buying the Groat and Courier quite a while ago now, because there just isn't any news in either of them ( and they want 40-odd pence for the privelidge). Of course, its fun to read whos been fined 20 cos they never had a tv license, and nice to know whos had babies, but theres never any REAL news in it. And there just like the Wick Gala Week, same every year, 4 page wedding supplement the whole way through the summer, and Christmas shopping ideas in the winter, with agricultural stuff chucked in now and then. I think people just buy them in case they miss something, when they would probably get more crack standing in the post office queue to buy a stamp. Some of the stuff is pretty lightsome but most is pure dirge. I dont even like getting ma fish supper wrapped in them cos there aint even anything to read when Im eating ma chips!!
The editors etc could do with looking at the free papers like the Metro that ye get doon Sooth.

20-Jan-03, 01:36

20-Jan-03, 14:57
What do we want here? Heblix said the papers were "vastly out of touch" I would disagree with that to be honest. The thing is you cant have a local newspaper with jaw dropping stories unless jaw dropping things are happening. Seems to me that we get the sort of newspaper which reflects the sort of society we live in. The Manchester Evening News for example is full of exciting and horrifying stories, no doubt the Liverpool Echo is too and the London Standard. We dont have that sort of news. We have WRIs and School productions and births and deaths and people being fined in court for speeding and driving without insurance. We have the occasional "BIG" issue which keeps us all talking for a while. In short in caithness we have the sort of things going on that are reflected in the Groat.

If the editorial is a bit passe then so what...spittalpunks could offer his services to bring a column which is a little bit more contemporary. If the letters page debate on creation is so ridiculous then how come we all appear to have read it and are talking about it here? If the news is a bit boring well maybe heblix would like to commit the odd bank robbery or the odd murder to brighten things up. If not well then - can you really complain? Sometimes what is in the Groat and the Courier is funny, sometimes its ridiculous, sometimes its poor however it is very rarely frightening, alarming or shocking. Thank goodness for that.

20-Jan-03, 19:31

20-Jan-03, 20:53
The Caithness Courier is the superior production. It has marvellous Ralph who is walking from Thurso to Wick (Poor soul - he's going in the wrong direction, it should be FROM Wick but never mind...). Ralph is obviously a man of enterprise and hardiness and is to be congratulated. Unlike the chap in Wick on the Journal who whines about the cost of weddings and then announces he's away for two weeks on his holiday. Ralph is made of sterner stuff I've no doubt. I can just see him hunkered down behind a flagstone fence out of the teeth of the gale writing in his special notebook with the waterproof paper. Ralph, you've got my vote.I think you should be syndicated and maybe appear in the Helmsdale newspaper. (Is there such a thing. Maybe I should start one...)

21-Jan-03, 00:23

21-Jan-03, 09:48
Hi Heblix..... Did you not read Squidges post? We get the news our community generates.
I see you admit to having written for the Groat. I dont recall any major differences in editorial content in the last 100 years or so. Did your contribution fall on deaf eyes.....
I think what has become obvious to me since you started whinging on this thread is the extent of your prejiduces. On the one hand you say folks should be locked up for their views on something that you very obviously hold extreme views about and when challenged you revert to the old oh no not me rubbish.
You seem to hold very personal and prejudiced views about who you see responsible for the lack of imagination in putting the 2 papers together. Thats fine with me but if your going to air those views on a public forum, then be prepered to be challenged.
In the words of John Major......Put up or shut up!

21-Jan-03, 15:19
Who OWNS these papers. That might affect the coverage. As for news. News is whatever journalists say it is. Apart from huge affairs like wars or elections or plagues, about 80% of what goes into newspapers is there because the people who write for the paper, or the people who own it, find it to be of interest. Here's a simple experiment. Stop reading newspapers for a month. Will you have missed anything vital? No. But you'll miss a lot of fun and games...The big criticism of small town newspapers is that they tell you what's on at the movies, when the Womens' Rural Institute is holding its next bake sale and that's about it.
That's where guys like Ralph are important. He has a passion and he communicates it. There must be other people in the communities of Wick or Thurso with equivalent passions. Where is the angling reporter? Where is the loony ecologist? Where the cookery column and the knitting patterns? Where the CD reviews?
I'll tell you where. On the Caithness Org - if not today then tomorrow given Bill Fernie's eclectic talent spotting.
But you can't prop the org up on a restaurant table and read it over lunch, or stuff it in your backpack to read on the commute home, or line the budgie's cage with it.
So let me make a suggestion. Go and write a piece for your local newspaper. Bombard the editor with suggestions. He/she would most likely be delighted to receive it.
Go on. Do it. Right now! Make your paper more fun.

21-Jan-03, 17:42
hey Rich

Thats a great idea - dyou think they would be interested in Maud and Coco?

[lol] :lol: [lol] :lol:

21-Jan-03, 18:08
Ooooh yes!!! Maud and Coco! I'm all for that, lol! :lol: [lol] :lol: [lol]

21-Jan-03, 18:36
I like the articles by Bruce Sandison in the Groat.....a bit of satire - reminiscent of George Mikes, author of that hilarious book about the English "How to be an Alien".
Re the Creation bit. I believe in Creation and have answered Shand in the past...but found there was no point. Discussion on any subject is great but he does not take in what the other person is really saying....he just rants on and attacks anyone with a different point of view....so it is no longer a discussion. I don't mind people disagreeing with my view - as long as they also have valid points to make.
One thing that makes me groan is the Letter writers who start,
"May I through the medium of your pages...." or something like that.....totally superfluous. The editor could cut those bits.
I don't always read the papers.......so can't groan too much! :o)

21-Jan-03, 19:21
Write a column sorry to busy cleaning floors to sink that far down ha ha damn I missed a bit!!!!!!

If I wanted a Creation debate' I would have asked yon Dr Georgergueroau or whatever his name was to fire in about hid but I didnae :o)

Ended up like the letters page ha ha

Anyway I must agree most articles are just 'look at me I am the man' aye right get a job with the Times old chap use your old schooltie network :D

Its way behind the Northerm Times, Ross-shire Journal etc and papers like the Metro which is free

anyroad 52p and 46p Dick Turpin would be ashamed to charge that

21-Jan-03, 23:30

22-Jan-03, 10:38
Things must be looking up for the Courier. Ive just spent 12 minutes in comparitive silence (interupted only by Heblix blowing his own horn) reading this weeks edition of the Courier.
For me. Wednesday is never Wednesday without the Courier nor is Friday Friday without the Groat. I see it as a last link within our community where almost everybody has some sort of connection. We spend our lives in a small community like Caithness walking past people weve seen around all our lives and yet dont acknowkledge their existance by as much as a nod of the head. The local paper fills that gap for me. Of course, i would rather nod my head but they are liable to think i want something. Maybe i do.
Rich's suggestion is a fantastic idea for the whingers to put some positive energy into their community.
I intend to send an email to the editors of the Courier and Groat to have a look at this thread although i have a sneaky suspicion they may have already seen it. If not then i might have a wee whinge along with the worst of them as to why the editors of the local papers are not keeping up with the award winning Caithness.org.

22-Jan-03, 13:51
As somebody who has moved away from Caithness I have to say that I enjoy the odd copies of either the Courier or the Groat that sometimes find their way onto my doorstep.

True, neither paper can claim to be the best in the world... but then who cares?

Why do I read them even though I live hundreds of miles away? Honestly? Because I find it reassuring that there is still a part of this nation where a breach of the peace charge can find its way into the paper (we get murders and arson). I like to see the occasional marriage notice for a name I recognise from school. I like to see adverts for the same old shops where I used to go as a kid. :D


You really need to relax a little. Please? I'd hate to get a copy of one of these two slightly rubbish papers sent down to me, only to find a story of your heart attack whilst hunched furiously over your keyboard ;)

You seem to have quite a problem with the editorial team and want 'King Hendry' off his 'thrown'. I know that one of your 'collegues' is a journalist and you 'refferred' to the number of editorial marks in the copy you gave to him (something about 'grammer' you said)... But surely you, as somebody who used to contribute to the Groat, can accept that spotting every spelling mistake and gramatical error in a piece of work (even as short as, say, a post on a message board) can be quite difficult?? (:D I really am kidding. Please don't shout at me :D )

22-Jan-03, 15:28
Okay.. taking the out of HEBLIX aside, I suppose if the Groat and Courier were my local papers I might want to see something done about them.

From my point of view they are a reminder of what it was like growing up in Caithness. They remind me of how little crime there used to be. How the small things were what people worried about because the big things just didn't happen. How GBH was still a once-a-year offence and the opening of a new shop was something worth turning out for...

... but then I was a kid and life was a lot simpler when I was 10. Maybe it isn't such a good advert for the quality of the papers that they remind me of safe and simple things??? [lol]

Hey, you all say that you only buy the papers so you don't miss news if it happens... how about you get it together and DON'T buy them for a few weeks (all of you mind, or it won't really work). You aren't getting the news you want anyway, why not make your point. How many hits does this site get a day? How many of those hits are from Groat or Courier readers? Worth a try, at least - and who knows, you might even get your pictures in the paper. :evil

One thing that this thread has indicated is that HEBLIX isn't the only person with a desire to see something done about the quality. You never know, 'The Powers That Be' might be reading this right now and (in between meetings to discuss marketing their papers to ex-caithnesians down here in the south) are looking into ways to improve their content. They are probably on the phone to HEBLIX right now, begging for just one good article to get them started. They'll call it...

'HEBLIX - The People's Voice'

... hang on, I think I just saw a pig fly by...

22-Jan-03, 15:59
here's an idea for a feature in the Groat.

A Day in the Life of the Caithness. Org.

Follow Bill Fernie from his early dawn rising to feed the cat, through one of his famous photo sessions of people's houses, to him tearing his hair out over the message board, along the way get his opinions about electronic media and how Caithness people the world over are in touch with the home county etc etc etc.

Later they could do a day in the life of the bizarrely named John Thurso.

Follow that up with a day in the life of this fellow MacKenzie with the heavy metal band. That one could be done by phone.....

Mr P Cannop
22-Jan-03, 16:02
i think that is a very good plan a day in the life of Caithness.org and Bill Fernie ??

23-Jan-03, 00:42
Squidge, in reply to an earlier post you made, jaw dropping things do happen in Caithness, (you may find that hard to believe cos ye didna read it in the Groat). There are various bits of 'scandal' in one or both towns and all the bits in between at all times, but where is the investigative journalism into any of it?? You dont have any reporters seeing how easy it is to get into Dounreay, or any campaigns through the local press for better road/rail networks North, or how much Jamie Stone is doing for Caithness (not). No half page spreads on the weekend vandalism and how its affecting the towns or Woolies windows going in yet again, just a wee footnote, asking you if you did see anything at all til give e bobbies a ring on...... Come on...... The people that buy the Courier and Groat 'Just in case they miss something' are missing absolutely all, and if someones going to write The Brimster Saga, why not write it all at once, put all the bits of paper together and sell it in DR Simpsons, along with all the other Caithness books, or is that the plan...? Put it all in the paper, then when the stories done, we'll bring it out one Christmas, and people will add it to their collection cos theyve got all the other publications. There was a tragic story in Wick today, with a deep history, but are you going to read about it, no. You may get a glossed over, condensed version, but the full story, no chance. And dont get me started on Bill Paterson, wheres the mans heid? Obviously thinking of moving away and maybe getting a couple of inches in the Herald or Scotsman. Groat and Courier..... only good for getting the fire started, but hey, your cheaper buying a box of firelighters.

23-Jan-03, 02:52

23-Jan-03, 13:24
There are various bits of 'scandal' in one or both towns and all the bits in between at all times, but where is the investigative journalism into any of it??

"Scandal" You wanna turn the groat and the courier into "The news of the world"??????? Gleeber already said...

Occasionally theres a case where the person is clearly going through a crisis in life and the case will be graphically reported in the local paper. It seems like its more of a shame thing in a small community like ours, rather than any real news value. Just pure gossip even though it may well be true.

Wise words - do we really want to rub our hands gleefully over the fact that some minister has been caught behaving naughtily with one of his elders or have the death of a poor sad lonely person who could see no way out dissected for our delectation???

Justpassingthrough - I am right - We dont have the volume of news which makes the other local newspapers i mentioned full and packed with stuff. There is news that happens and when it does it is usually reported. You asked why the paper couldnt be more like the Metro and that is why. News has generally been reported in the Press and Journal already - BIG news in the national press so what do we expect. For goodness sake news in Caithness is discussed, digested and picked over long before the Groat gets it - the whispering telegraph which is Caithness is enough to ensure that that happens!!

You talk about investigative journalism - isnt that expensive? You think the editors budget will allow him to send someone undercover to expose a big racket going on...get real.

The Groat and the Courier are not the Washington Post or the Sunday Times or even the herald or the Press and Journal. If they were selling themselves as such i can understand the fuss but they arent.

Heblix i agree there is room for improvement and an update in the editorial for sure - there is always room for improvement. But the aspects of the papers which WE dislike others will surely like - thats the way of it - The local papers cater for everyone from 6 to 106 remember. Every age, every intellectual ability, every interest, they dont have the luxury of targetting these papers to specific demographic groups.

The bottom line to me seems to be that if you want good investigative news read the quality national papers - we have plenty to choose from scottish and uk wide. If you want scandal - the News of the World does it very well or the Daily and Sunday Sport if your tastes are a little more fanciful. If you want speedy news reporting on a daily basis read the Press and Journal maybe. If you want lively debate then the Caithness.org message board is the place to be. If however you want to know whos died born and been married, who won the cake competition at the WRI this week and whether your little ones picture is in from the dancing she did last week, read the Groat and the Courier. Horses for Courses!!!

23-Jan-03, 21:44
Shoot the goat :evil and keep Courier [lol] [mad] :p

23-Jan-03, 22:41

24-Jan-03, 00:27
Can somebody let me know the good bits? I'm having trouble getting the newsagent to order me a copy? [lol]

24-Jan-03, 15:22
Squidge, while Im not going to get into an argument with you, you noted that the big local news has already been reported in the P&J. Well theres a point for you, why even have the Groat and Courier then.........?? I think in the future todays 'youngsters' will not bother even buying them so the 'better buy it in case i miss anything' brigade that are keeping the current circulation of copies up, will have petered out and that they will eventually fold. Sad to say but methinks it will be true. There is an element of truth in the fact that good news spreads like wildfire round Caithness and bad news even faster, but you must know yourself that theres lots of arms and legs added on along the way, so whats wrong with having the unabridged truth in a local paper? Other local papers are a lot more informative about their local goings on (the Orcadian and Inverness Courier) and they aint millions of miles away, so why cant our lot do the same!!!

26-Mar-03, 19:03
maybe they couldnt fit it all in one paper so they needed two and anyway i like these papers they are very interesting and good :mad:

26-Mar-03, 19:46
If we are honest with ourselves, we only read it for hatches, matches and dispatches. Oh, and the court pages, which you can get in the P & J on a saturday!!!!!!!!! :D

The Loafer